The Faith Eagles traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to take on Emmaus Bible College in a rematch this past Tuesday evening. The Eagles defeated Emmaus back on September 16th by the score of 3-0. Faith was attempting to hold down sole possession of second place in the MCCC, but Emmaus won the match 3-1. "We anticipated Emmaus would be ready to play and they always perform well at home. We started out with energy but ended with very little intensity and focus. As a result we now have to go back to the drawing board to look for improvement and sweep the remaining conference games to get a high seed for the tournament," noted coach Nihart.
Faith began the match with 3-0 and 6-2 leads but had to work hard in earning a set one victory 25-23. Emmaus was able to force the Eagles into turnovers knotting the set at 23-23. Faith then turned the tables in capturing an overset kill and benefiting from an Emmaus turnover.
Set two found the inconsistency that has plagued the Eagles throughout the season. With only 4 kills, several serve receive errors, and dropped balls as a result of communication problems, Emmaus stormed to a 25-12 set win. "We have become our worst enemy at times, and it is not just tonight's match when we become very tentative and inconsistent. We need to understand their is a difference between energy and focus,"noted Nihart. The Eagles controlled most of set three including a 19-17 lead. Again, turnovers and the lack of first ball kills limited Faith resulting in another set loss of 25-21.
In set four the Eagles built a 22-18 lead and appeared on the way to forcing a fifth set. However, Emmaus had different viewpoint forcing errors and limiting the Eagle offensive attack and taking the set and match with a thrilling 25-22 win. "We are not making excuses for the loss. We need to get back to work and determine how to incorporate urgency into our game plan as most of our mistakes are fixable. We just need to get everyone on the same page quickly," remarked Nihart.