DUBUQUE, Iowa—The Faith Eagles faced their most difficult task of the season Tuesday night, taking on the top-ranked volleyball team in the nation, the Emmaus Eagles (9-0). Emmaus won in three straight sets, 25-13, 25-8, and 25-19.
Alicia Smith led the way with seven points for the Eagles off of seven kills. Abby Booth added six points off of a team-high five service aces. Paige Sweeney and Nicole Gordon were a lethal one-two punch for Emmaus, combining for 21 kills.
Faith held its ground in the early stages of the contest, leading by a 3-2 score before Emmaus went on a 12-0 run, mostly through a combination of service aces from Nicole Gordon and attack errors by Faith. Emmaus stretched the lead all the way to 21-6, before some excellent serving by Abby Booth helped the Eagles get back within ten. A pair of late kills by Paige Sweeney helped Emmaus close out set one, 25-13.
Set number two was all Emmaus, as they stormed to a 16-0 lead before a timeout from Coach Nihart. After the timeout, Faith scored four straight points and got the score as close as 19-7 before Emmaus finished it off with a flurry of service aces.
In set number three, Faith once again held its ground in the early going, forcing a 5-5 tie after a kill by Michaela Crider. Emmaus showed why it is the nation's top-ranked team from there though, flexing its strength with an impressive 12-2 run off of a combination of service aces and solid attack play. Faith climbed within 22-17 before Emmaus won the match and the game on a service error by Faith.
With the loss, the Eagles fall to 6-5 on the season. Their next game is Friday at Calvary University at 6:00 p.m.