We Are The (Co)Champions

Biola ties with Concordia for first place in GSAC after win against Master’s.


Jenny Oetzell/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Junior right-side setter Crissy Cunningham and junior middle blocker Lauren Hoenecke block a spike from Hope International on Oct. 11.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

The Biola Eagles’ volleyball team finished their regular season with a four-set victory over The Master’s College last Saturday. This brings their season record up to 28-4 overall and a conference record of 15-1. Additionally, they made it through the season with a perfect record for away games at 10-0.

With this final victory, the Eagles tie with Concordia for first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference. This marks the third consecutive year that Biola has been in the top two of GSAC, but the first time in 17 seasons that they have earned the title of co-champion.

In this final game against Master’s, Biola came in knowing the importance of the game for both teams. Master’s needed a win to have a chance of getting into the post-season and Biola needed a win to tie with Concordia for first place in GSAC. The match took place at Master’s on their senior night, a scenario that seemed ripe for an upset. As their fourth place GSAC ranking and 19-12 record indicate, Biola knew that The Master’s would not be an easy match.

The Mustangs came out firing in the first set, getting out to a quick 8-5 lead. Biola then went on a seven-point run to take control of the set. They would not relinquish that control for the remainder of the set and went on to win decisively 25-15.

Biola continued the momentum into the second set and after the scoreboard read 2-2, the Eagles took control and led for the remainder of the set. Master’s fought back, however, and was able to limit Biola’s win to only five points at 25-20.

In the hard-fought third set, the score never showed a deficit of more than six points. Both teams played extremely hard, with The Master’s eventually pulling out the 25-19 win. This ended up the first set they had taken from Biola this season, but it would be their last.

In the fourth set, the score stayed close through its entirety. While tied 14-14, Biola took the next point to pull ahead, where they would stay. The final score ended up 25-22, at which point Biola had just become the GSAC co-champions and The Master’s would have to wait until next year to try again.

Junior outside hitter Joclyn Kirton proved instrumental in Biola’s success, leading Biola’s attackers with 13 kills and a .344 hitting percentage. Senior middle blocker Amy Weststeyn also contributed 10 kills and an impressive eight blocks. Biola got a total of 13 blocks throughout the night while The Master’s only got seven.

The next time Biola plays will be in the NAIA Tournament, set to start Dec. 2 in Sioux City, Iowa. The NAIA will announce exact times and locations at a later date.

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