Faith Volleyball Reaches Conference Championship

Faith Volleyball Reaches Conference Championship

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.