ANKENY, Iowa— It took a while for the Eagles to settle in Thursday night, but once they got past the hot pink jerseys of the Blue Eagles and their hot mess of a second set, they fought their way back into the win column with a 3-1 win over Mount Mary.
Like a bad hair day, nothing was quite right for Faith in the early stages. Teamwork was off, no one could seem to get on the same page defensively, and everyone struggled to get the strikers set up for kills.
Mount Mary stormed to a quick 5-0 lead, and Coach Nihart called an early timeout in an effort to get his team refocused. After falling behind 7-1, the Eagles scratched and clawed their way back into it, but most of the set was an uphill battle. Faith finally tied things up at 15 apiece and got their first lead of the game on an attack error by Mount Mary, making the score 16-15. Mount Mary regained the lead late, with a 22-21 advantage, but Faith finished the set strong on a 4-0 run off of four straight kills by the Eagles, winning 25-22.
Faith jumped to a 4-0 lead, and it looked like they had regained momentum, but Mount Mary came back to take their first lead of the set at 9-8…and that's when the Eagles turned into a hot mess for the rest of the set. It was a mixture of attack errors, misplaced sets for attackers, miscommunication on defense, and well-placed hits by Mount Mary that led to a 7-0 run by the Blue Eagles. It was a series that Faith was never able to overcome in the second set as they fell, 25-16. And it was an ugly series that looked like it could derail the Eagles the rest of the night.
Faith regrouped and got things turned around in set number three, and by the end of the frame, they had finally found their rhythm. There were eight lead changes and ten ties, but a slew of late kills by Abby Booth, Bekah Smith, and Alicia Smith helped the Eagles to a 25-20 win.
Set number four was another back-and-forth volley between the two teams, but once Faith took the lead at 15-14, they never looked back, winning the set and the game, 25-18. Bekah Smith tied a season-high with 14 kills, and three other Eagles chipped in with nine each (Alicia Smith, Ashley Dey, and Abby Booth).
With the win, the Eagles improved to 10-8 on the season. Their next game is Tuesday at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.