The Faith volleyball team reached beyond their regular season efforts and nearly crowned themselves MCCC conference tournament champions. The Eagles defeated #2 seed Manhattan Christian College in a five set semifinal and captured the first set of the championship game against #1 seed and host Emmaus Bible College. "We decided as a team to battle for the 50/50 balls all weekend. We had been letting balls fall in the past, and we wanted to be aggressive with our defense and offensive swings," noted Coach Nihart.
Faith started strong taking sets 2 and 3 against the Manhattan, only to see the Thunder force a set 5. Faith quickly grabbed 7-1 and 8-2 leads with the team's trading sides. Manhattan closed the gap to 11-7 but the Eagles held ground. "We have had a hard time closing sets. We determined to find a way to make plays and get a big win," mentioned Nihart. Behind freshmen Abby Booth and stalwart defense the Eagles captured a 15-9 set win and a place in the championship. Booth led the Eagles with 14 kills, with middle hitter Bekah Smith adding 14 kills and 3 blocks. Senior setter Emilie Morton had a season high 46 assists and Libero Cara Hodak garnered 37 digs, while freshmen Alicia Smith added 25.
Faith continued their run to a championship against the Emmaus Lady Eagles taking set one 26-24. The Eagles had built large leads only to see Emmaus tie the score at 24-24. But once again they found resolve and the win with kills from Booth and Smith. Set two found Emmaus controlling from the beginning with a 25-14 win. Set three became difficult for Faith both offensively and defensively losing 25-6. "We lost foot movement defensively, we stopped swinging and had a low attack percentage and poor work ethic. We needed to regroup and make a final push, which we did," notes Nihart. Faith pushed early leads, but Emmaus found their hitting lanes defeating the Eagles 25-20 and taking the match. "We will use our positive play to push us in the upcoming NCCAA North Regional Championship." Booth and Smith led with 9 kills, 24 digs and 8 kills respectively. Cara Hodak had 24 digs with Alicia Smith adding 18.
Abby Booth was selected as a First-Team All Conference team member. Bekah Smith was selected to the Second-Team and senior setter Emilie Morton Honorable-Mention. The Eagles were honored to be presented the MCCC sportsmanship award along with Calvary Bible College. "We want our teams to be successful, and one of the earmarks is to present ourselves as athletes in Christ. We want to emulate Christ-like attributes in our play on the court and actions off the court." notes Nihart.
The Eagles travel to Watertown, WI on Friday to participate in the North Regional NCCAA playoffs. Faith enters as the #4 seed and will play #5 Moody Bible Institute.
November 14, 2017 Eagles Reach Championship; Booth and Smith Named All-Americans
November 6, 2017 Eagles Reach Regional Semi-Finals
October 31, 2017 Faith Volleyball Reaches Conference Championship
October 27, 2017 Coach Nihart Earns 600 Wins
October 22, 2017 Lady Eagles Split in Final Regular Season Road-Trip
October 15, 2017 Lady Eagles Play in Quad
October 13, 2017 Eagles Host Final Home Game
October 11, 2017 Faith Bounces Back With Home Win
October 10, 2017 Eagles Split Road Matches
October 6, 2017 Eagles Experience First Conference Loss
September 30, 2017 Eagles Continue Win Streak
September 27, 2017 Eagles Get Road Win
September 26, 2017 Lady Eagles Start Off Strong in Conference Play
September 15, 2017 Fall Teams Launch Fundraising Campaigns
September 13, 2017 Lady Eagles Suffer Tough Loss to Emmaus
September 11, 2017 Homecoming 2017
September 11, 2017 Eagles Struggle in NCU Tourney
September 4, 2017 Eagles Host 2017 Spikefest Tournament
August 29, 2017 Volleyball Season Preview