Eagles prepare for first showdown against Concordia

After winning two conference matches, women’s volleyball looks ahead to their upcoming game with high expectations.

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Freshman setter Allison Spencer celebrates with her teammates after the Eagles win against Hope International. The team finished their last game with a score of 25-12. | Jenny Oetzell/THE CHIMES

Laurie Bullock, Writer

Freshman setter Allison Spencer celebrates with her teammates after the Eagles win against Hope International. After winning two conference matches, women's volleyball looks ahead to their upcoming game with high expectations. | Jenny Oetzell/THE CHIMES

 

The Volleyball team is two games deep into the Golden State Athletic Conference match and is gearing up to take a shot at the conference title. Biola’s current record is 12-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

The Eagles have glided through the first two conference matches with back to back sweeps against Vanguard University and Hope International University. Now, Biola faces conference rival Concordia University of Irvine.

Concordia took the GSAC title in 2013 after defeating Biola twice in the season. The Eagles took their revenge in the NAIA National Tournament when Biola swept Concordia to move on to the championship round for the first time in 16 years .

Both teams know each other’s style of play well. Solid blocking to shut down any chance of making a play pushed the Eagles to sweep Concordia in nationals. The Eagles had 17 total blocks in the game and a team total of 44 kills. Blocking will once again play a big role in Saturday’s game in order for the Eagles to go undefeated in GSAC.

“We have been working on our blocking and defense mainly,” junior outside hitter Alyssa Mason said. “That will play a huge role as to whether or not we are successful.”  

Biola has a strong front line and a disciplined back row. This combination could give the Eagles the edge over Concordia as long as they stay consistent in both.

“Concordia is definitely one the best teams we play in our league and we are pretty equal in talent, so I know we can definitely play hard against them,” said junior outside hitter Crissy Cunningham. “I think staying positive throughout the game and winning the long rallies will be the key to winning the match.”

The Eagles need to keep their unforced errors to a minimum during the match. Last season the Eagles made 33 unforced errors in their five set loss to Concordia.

“We have to remember how bad they want to win, so they are going to bring their best game,”  Mason said. “We have to realize they are going to get points and make great plays. We just need to focus on getting a sideout the first point every play. We need to start and finish strong.”

CHAMPIONSHIP MENTALITY

The Eagles fell short of both a GSAC and Nationals championship title last season. Now the Eagles have one goal in mind for each match they play.

“We want to win conference. It is definitely something we can achieve but it will not be easy,” Mason said.  “We need to have intense hard practices. We have to play every match with a championship mentality and not let up.”

Biola sits just below Concordia in both GSAC and NAIA standings. The Eagles are currently No. 2 in GSAC and No. 6 in NAIA while Concordia is in the No. 1 spot for GSAC and No. 3 in NAIA. If Biola pulls out a win it would be the second loss for Concordia all season.

The Eagles will face off against Concordia on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.

 

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