The 2020 Faith Eagles volleyball season begins this Friday and Saturday with the Spikefest Tournament at the Nettleton Center. Faith takes on Trinity Bible College at 7:45 p.m. on Friday and finishes the weekend against Oak Hills Christian College at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday and Maranatha Baptist University at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The 2020 roster contains a good mix of upperclassmen (8) and freshmen (6) to contend with a challenging schedule.
"We are excited about the returners and new freshmen talent we have and the versatility we can put on the floor," said Coach Lanny Nihart. "Areas we hope to improve on include serve-receive and blocking abilities. We also will work to increase our offensive output by incorporating stronger attack patterns."
Leading the way will be senior captain Alicia Smith, who will be asked to play all rotations. Alicia has been an impact player for three seasons as a returning All-Conference and All-Regional player. Karis Giegerich, a new addition, played two seasons ago and will add an advantage as a left-hander at the right-side position. Junior Emmy Caves will enhance the Eagles' defense at the right-back or left-back position.
The sophomore group includes several key returning players. Makenna Laib will be instrumental on the offensive side as the setter. Rachel Kleczka, Amanda Larson, and Anissa Greiner all will be given the opportunity to contribute at front row positions.
The defense will be bolstered by sophomore Morgan Stephens at the libero position. With one year under her belt, Morgan can work in 2020 with more experience defending against talented opponent attackers. Adding additional defensive help will be freshmen Sarah Iler at the middle and right-back position. Along with Alicia Smith, they will be our primary defensive backs.
Incoming freshmen provide significant help in several areas. Sierra Udd will be asked to play the role as backup setter to Laib. Krystal Wikstrom will compete for the outside hitter position to provide versatile scoring. Donnecia King will be a good addition to the middle and right side positions. Kyla Vugteveen will share opportunity at the right-back position in the role of a versatile defensive specialist. Angel Humphrey will be used as a designated server and right-back defensive specialist.
"We hope to improve on the 2019 campaign which had a number of different factors," said Nihart. "Our volleyball program is familiar with winning seasons and competing for championships. As coaches we have the task to prepare and motivate our team to compete for the MCCC conference championship and the regional championship. We also want to be sure to provide a classroom where biblical application and discipleship is mentored."
You can view the full 2020 Faith Eagles volleyball schedule here.