The Faith Eagles played NAIA William Penn University well this past Friday night but came up on the short end of a 25-16, 25-18, and 25-20 loss. The Eagles advanced in each set in terms of point production and even held the lead late into the final set. "I thought we played well against an NAIA foe. We worked hard at getting the extra balls up defensively and we never quit on volleys. Hopefully this is something we can take into the NCCAA Regional this week," noted head coach Lanny Nihart.
Faith started out well in set one taking early leads but soon William Penn, behind the hitting of Savannah Hartman's 12 kills and .456 attack percentage, caught up with the Eagles. Hartman continued to score from the outside and eluded Eagle blocking assignments. In set two Faith increased their attack by .12 percent but found William Penn doing the same. 'We could not match their front row attack, but I thought we did well in fighting for the net. We increased our output, but with only two blocks on the night we put ourselves in some difficult defensive situations," noted Nihart.
Faith played well in the third set and even lead 20-18 before the Statesmen again made offensive surges to take the set and the match. Faith was led by sophomore Samantha Betz with 12 kills and 10 digs. "Samantha did a good job attacking from the outside. It was obvious she had gained confidence during the match. Shannon Steffen and Maddie Kunz did a good job as well filling in for the injured Charity Appell. I thought Cara Hodak had her best night of the year as libero in terms of determination and reading the hitters." stated Nihart.
The Eagles will travel on Friday to participate in the NCCAA North Regional playoffs, which will be hosted by North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. Faith will enter as the #4 seed and will play #5 Trinity Bible College in round one at 4 PM. The winner will play #1 Maranatha Baptist University later that night at 8 PM.