By Loretta Gamboe, Staff Writer
ANKENY, Iowa--The Eagles played tenaciously on Friday night in the first round of the regional tournament, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to keep up with the Moody Bible Archers.
Faith was the host for this year's NCCAA Regional Volleyball tournament, with games going Friday morning through Saturday afternoon. The Eagles entered the tournament as the #4 seed and were matched up against the #5 seed, Moody Bible Institute. The Eagles previously played Moody on October 20 and lost in four sets.
Both teams came out fighting in the first set. After being tied at 6, the Archers went on a run to build their lead up to 10-6. The Eagles refused to give up and tied the score at 15 a few minutes later, but the Archers outscored them 5-1 in the next several rallies. The Eagles were unable to recover from this run and lost the first set 20-25.
Faith struggled to find their rhythm in the second set as they were never able to regain the lead after the first few rallies. After finding themselves down 10-16, the Eagles brought the score to 15-16 and forced the Archers to call a timeout. Things started going right for the Eagles, but they couldn't catch the Archers and lost the set 23-25.
The Eagles found new energy in the third set, a typical characteristic for them this season. Neither team ever led by more than three, and the score was tied 11 times as the teams battled it out. After leading 24-21, the Eagles nearly lost when the Archers came back to tie the score at 24 and again at 25, but the Eagles pushed through to win the set 27-25.
Faith lost some of its momentum going into the fourth set as the Archers gained a quick six-point lead. The Eagles brought the score to within two points at 8-10 only for the Archers to widen the gap to 8-13. The Eagles responded with a run of their own to bring the score to 12-13, and a few plays later the score was tied at 16. The two teams tied five more times before the end of the set, when the Archers pushed through to win the set, and the game, at 25-27.
The offense of the Archers proved to be the downfall of the Eagles as the Archers hit .172 with 53 kills. In comparison, the Eagles hit .058 with 31 kills. Defensively, the Eagles had 53 digs to the Archers' 79 digs.
The loss concluded the Eagles' 2018 season. They ended the season 13-12 overall and won the conference's Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row.