Volleyball Team Mixes and Matches at Spikefest

Junior Captain Alicia Smith has helped guide a young team through a season full of trials.
Junior Captain Alicia Smith has helped guide a young team through a season full of trials.

ANKENY, Iowa—The Faith Eagles volleyball team faced some stiff competition as it hosted the Spikefest Tournament at Ankeny Christian Academy this weekend with two games each against Grace Christian University and Dallas Christian College. While the Eagles were not able to come away with a victory, it was a good opportunity for Coach Nihart to mix and match a lot of new faces on this year's team, which will prove beneficial as the regular season gets rolling.

The Eagles drew great fan support from the student body Friday night with many of the fans showing up for an unofficial "whiteout" for the opening round match against Grace Christian University, from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grace had their best season in 14 years last year with a record of 19-10. The Tigers returned two all-region performers and a slew of other returning starters from last year's talented team, which defeated the Eagles 3-0 on both Friday night (25-15, 25-11, 25-15) and Saturday (25-17, 25-14, 25-19).

Faith's other tournament opponent, Dallas Christian College, was a more evenly-matched foe for the Eagles. Coach Nihart's team kept most sets close Friday night in a 3-1 loss (21-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-25), but didn't fare as well Saturday afternoon, losing all three sets to the Lady Crusaders (25-18, 25-16, 25-14).

Notable performances over the weekend tournament included Bekah Smith (24 kills), Alicia Smith (49 digs), and freshmen Anissa Greiner, who is third on the team with 16.5 points, and Makenna Laib, who leads the team with 52 assists through the first four matches.

The Eagles (0-4) return to action on Tuesday with a match at Grinnell College at 7:00 p.m.