The Lady Eagles volleyball team opened the home portion of their season with a fourth place finish at their annual Spikefest volleyball tournament this past weekend. The Eagles went 2-2 on the weekend, falling to 2nd ranked Manhattan Christian and 5th ranked Ozark Christian, while defeating 7th ranked Providence University College and unranked Hillsdale College. The Lady Eagles are 2-2 on the year.
Match one of the tournament found the Lady Eagles matched up with pre-season NCCAA II #2 Manhattan Christian College. Manhattan quickly jumped out to leads of 6-1 and 16-7, easily winning game one 25-16. Faith was able to keep it closer in game two, trailing 7-12 and 22-18. Out of a timeout, Manhattan reeled off three straight to take the second game 25-18. Game three found the Eagles playing their best yet, as they went back and forth with Manhattan. Faith forced the game into extra points before falling in the match 26-28.
Match two of the night featured the Eagles facing off against region opponent and NCCAA II #7 Providence University College. Faith took control early, jumping out to a 9-4 lead and didn't look back, winning the match 25-18. Set two was a battle, with both teams claiming leads, but ultimately Providence taking the game 25-23. With the match tied at one apiece, it was the Lady Eagles who regained control, stretching a 22-22 tie into a 25-22 win for the 2-1 lead. Early on in game four, it looked like Providence was going to force a fifth game, but the Eagles battled back to tie things up at 19 apiece. From there Faith rattled off six points to the Pilots three to take the game and the match 25-22.
On Saturday morning, the Eagles found themselves playing for a spot in the third place game, with an outside shot at the championship as they opened play with Hillsdale College. After going back and forth with Hillsdale for the first 19 points, the Eagles scored six unanswered to take game one 25-19. In a near mirror of game one, the Eagles scored five unanswered after a 20-20 tie to take game two 25-20. Game three saw the Eagles dominant, winning the game and the match 25-12. The win locked the Eagles into the third place game with NCCAA II #5 Ozark Christian College.
It looked like the Eagles would go quietly in the third place match, falling 16-25 and 18-25 in the first two games. However, the young team showed great resiliency, tying game three at 20 apiece, than reeling off five straight to take the game 25-20 and force a fourth game. In game four, the Eagles took a 7-2 lead and increased it throughout the match to 21-13. Faith looked poised to easily force a fifth game, but Ozark made them earn it, tying the game at 23 apiece before the Eagles were able to grab the 26-24 win.
In game five, the Eagles simply came out flat, finding themselves down 9-1 and never able to recover as Ozark took the game and the match with a 15-5 win. However, the Eagles did excetpionally well overall in a very strong Spikefest field, taking fourth in a tournament that included four top 10 teams. JoJo Hodak receive recognition for her efforts during the tournament with her selection to the Spikefest All-Tournament Team.
The Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday, September 2, at 6 PM at Union College in Lincoln, NE.