Eagles look to keep building momentum

Women’s volleyball competes in the Concordia Labor Day Festival.

Sophomores+Lauren+Hoenecke+and+Joclyn+Kirton+put+up+a+powerful+block+against+Texas-Brownsville.+Unfortunately+for+womens+volleyball%2C+that+strength+was+not+enough+to+overpower+the+%232+team+in+the+GSAC+Conference+on+October+22.+%7C+Tomber+Su%2FTHE+CHIMES

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Sophomores Lauren Hoenecke and Joclyn Kirton put up a powerful block against Texas-Brownsville. Unfortunately for women’s volleyball, that strength was not enough to overpower the #2 team in the GSAC Conference on October 22. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

Laurie Bullock, Writer

Junirs Lauren Hoenecke and Joclyn Kirton put up a powerful block against Texas-Brownsville last October. “We’re a really tight-knit team, not only close on the court but off the court as well and I think that is really important,” Kirton said. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

 

After competing in two back-to-back tournaments over the past two weekends, the No. 8 Eagles’ overall record is now 7-2. The volleyball team has only has one more tournament before starting conference play Sept. 4th.

 

WORKING AS A TEAM

 

Biola went 3-1 in the Concordia Labor Day Festival tournament with only one loss on day one against Westminster College of Utah. Despite the loss the Eagles came back strong on the second day to win both of their matches. The Eagles take each match as a learning experience to work out the kinks before Golden State Athletic Conference play begins on Sept. 4th.

 

We really tried to focus on doing the little things that will make our play a lot sharper as we continued to mesh together and build that team chemistry on the court,” Senior defensive specialist Jaci Schork said.

 

Even after graduating five seniors from the 2013 season, the Eagles have a solid amount of returning players. The experienced team will be one of Biola’s biggest strengths for the upcoming year.

 

“We have a lot of our players back and we have a huge junior class,” junior outside hitter Joclyn Kirton said. “We’re a really tight-knit team, not only close on the court but off the court as well and I think that is really important.”

 

The Eagles have a week to prepare for the Carroll College tournament Sept. 5-6. For this tournament, the team wants to keep a relaxed and focused attitude on the court.

 

“We just need to go play and have fun because when you get wrapped up in rankings and expectations and pressures then that's when your play becomes more tense,” Schork said.  “So going into this tournament we need to believe that we are the better team and play with confidence and just go out and have fun.”  

 

A DESIRE TO WIN

 

Throughout the entire season the Eagles will have the NAIA National Championship in the back of their minds. Last season Biola made it all the way to the championship match before falling to Texas-Brownsville University. The Eagles know that every game they play matters, regardless of whether it is a conference match or not.

 

“Our goal is to win a national championship and in order to do that we are going to have to dig ourselves out of the minor hole because of our two losses,” Schork said.  “But we have the talent and determination to make that goal a reality and realistically we will take it one game, one practice at a time.”

 

The Eagles start GSAC play the Tuesday following the Carroll College Tournament. Last season the Eagles went 12-2 in conference play. However, things will be slightly different this year with a new opponent, William Jessup University of California, to face in the GSAC lineup. The Warriors went 2-10 in the California Pacific Conference play last season. Biola will go up against William Jessup for the first time on Oct. 4 in Chase Gym.

 

“We got second in Nationals last year and so I think the next best thing would be first,” Kirton said. “Now that we’re getting into our rhythm it would be nice to finish games in three and not play down to other team’s levels and play our game.”  

 

Biola will play four matches in the Carroll College tournament starting with Montana State University-Northern on Friday. After the tournament the Eagles will play at home against Vanguard University for the first GSAC match of the season.

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