The 2019 Eagle volleyball season could be defined as the "anomaly" year. The word anomaly is described as "something that deviates from standard, normal, or expected". The definition certainly was applicable to the 2019 Eagle volleyball season! Faith volleyball had not experienced such a year since the inception of the program in 1978!
The largest "anomaly" was associated with the Nettleton Center not being available during the 2019 season. Our school was blessed to receive a new hardwood gym floor to replace the original floor installed back in the late 1960's! However, due to certain contingencies the gym floor would not be available during the 2019 season, displacing the Eagles to their new home, Ankeny Christian Academy.
The 2019 Eagle roster came together with five returning upperclassmen and 9 incoming freshmen. The roster held expectations to continue the volleyball culture of winning, and compete for MCCC Conference and NCCAA Regional championships. With the 9 new freshmen being asked to contribute immediately and facing a schedule dominated with ranked NCAA Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA opponents, the task for coach Lanny Nihart and Erin Davis was imminent.
Entering the 2019 season the volleyball mantra established stated "no excuses, no explanations". Our focus was to use the lack of gym availability and extenuating circumstances as an OPPORTUNITY to extend encouragement to other individuals that God can and desires to make us effective no matter our situations! John Wooden was a famous basketball coach who captured 10 successive NCAA National Championships. He stated, "Never make excuses. Your friends don't need them and your foes won't believe them"!
We determined not to view wins and losses as the singular benchmark for success. Obviously, winning was an identified goal but even winning quickly vanishes. During 2019 we desired progress of our team towards excellence each day and week. As the season developed the Eagles began to demonstrate a willingness to battle no matter the strength of the opposition. The team was able to extend 3 matches into the 5th set only to be disappointed in the final results. We consistently proclaimed to be disappointed but not discouraged!
"Coach Erin and I are grateful for the opportunity to coach the 2019 team. The team maintained integrity with difficult adversities. They were champions in their own right!" stated coach Lanny Nihart.
During the season our team participated in two separate ministry opportunities. The first held in August when the entire FBBC athletic department volunteered to provide services to disabled individuals in the Miracle Park program. The team further ministered in October providing assistance to the Alpha Women's Center located in Ankeny, Iowa.
Alicia Smith was named to the MCCC All-Conference team for the second consecutive year. Alicia, Stephanie Hemsworth, and Jenna Toomey earned the NCCAA Scholar Athlete Award. The Eagles were awarded the MCCC Sportsmanship Award for the third year in a row.
- Coach Nihart