Nov 10, 2014
The Faith volleyball team entered the ACCA National volleyball tournament seeded #2 behind host and #1 seed Ozark Christian College. The Eagles received a first round bye and then played #3 Arlington Baptist (eventual champion) in a semi-final match. The Eagles played competitive in the first set against a potent Patriot attack. "They play the net in a very aggressive style. They hit out of system attacks better than anyone we have played this year and that created a bad match up for us," noted coach Nihart. Arlington Baptist captured that first set and then continued to dominate the Eagles to win the match in three.
Faith next played Hillsdale Free Will Baptist from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Faith and Hillsdale met in late August in Ankeny during the annual Spikefest Tournament with the Eagles winning 3-0. The Eagles matched that victory with the same 3-0 result in the ACCA tourney. The victory allowed the Eagles to move on to a second round elimination game against Dallas Christian College who had lost earlier to #1 seed Ozark Christian College.
The Eagles captured sets one and two behind solid defensive play and serve receive. However, Dallas Christian was able to get their attackers in better positions and captured set three. Set four found much the same with Dallas Christian leading much of the way until the Eagles made a late surge to close within one point at 24-23. Forcing a Dallas Christian time out it appeared Faith might be able to escape with a victory and move on in the tournament bracket. "We were confident would could tie and win in overtime. We practice that situation all the time in practice, but we just could not find the execution we needed", noted Nihart. Dallas was able to convert a kill and win the set and match forcing a 5th and decisive set.
The Eagles started out slow trailing 7-3 and 11-4. A short streak of winning volleys allowed Faith to get within 11-7 but Dallas Christian was able to hold on for a 5th set and match win. "We were disappointed we could not finish the match and end our year on a 5th set loss. I thought we did a good job of competing against some very talented teams,' stated Nihart.
Junior Kimberly Post and JoJo Hodak received ACCA All-American honors. with senior setter Stephanie Knupp receiving honorable mention. Hodak and junior Allysa Larson received scholar athete awards.
The Eagles finished the 2014 campaign with a respectable 22-11 season record.