Women's Volleyball Season Review

Women's Volleyball Season Review

The 2016 season volleyball was a combination of injuries and winning streaks. The team endured injuries to two starters within the first week of practice and an unfortunate car accident to three other players.  "We really had to define our character immediately as a team.  We lost key returners to injuries, requiring adjustments in positions and our freshmen to step right into the rotation," noted coach Lanny Nihart.  "Winning our first match against Union without the services of key players was a significant feat."

The Eagles then experienced a season-high seven match losing streak against four NCCAA 2015 National Tournament teams and NCAA DIII opponents.  "We played hard in those matches.  With several key players out with injuries, we utilized numerous rotations over that stretch of matches. It was hard, but we knew if we could get healthy and remain patient the wins would come," noted Nihart.  The wins did come with a season-high six consecutive matches including a thrilling come from behind five set win over Baptist Bible College, resulting in an NCCAA Top Ten ranking.   "We played very good volleyball at that point of the season and began to build our confidence."  

The Eagles would find themselves playing .500 volleyball over the next eight matches, including a first-round win in the MCCC Tournament.  In their effort to reach the championship match, they led rival Emmaus Bible College for most of the semi-final match only to fall short.  The Eagles fell in the third place match to nationally ranked and MCCC regular season champion Manhattan Christian College. 

Prior to North Region playoff action, the Eagles next opponent was NAIA William Penn University. "We were disappointed with our losses in the MCCC Tournament.  We practiced hard at speeding up our transition game and it showed in the William Penn match.  We did not win, but we showed the ability to compete at a faster pace," noted Nihart. 

The Eagles defeated Trinity Bible College in North Region action before ending the season in a loss to #1 ranked Maranatha Baptist University.   

Senior Alyssa Larson was named to MCCC All-Conference, NCCAA North Region, and ACCA All-American second team honors. Teammate Emilie Morton received MCCC All-Conference, NCCAA North Region, and ACCA honorable mention honors.  Larson, Grace Gimben, and Shannon Steffen all attained NCCAA and ACCA Scholar Athlete Award status.