Biola powers through

Volleyball wins both their matches against nationally-ranked opponents on first tournament day in Iowa.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

The Biola Eagles volleyball team had an extremely important weekend in front of them as they faced three nationally ranked schools in the Grand View University-hosted tournament in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 17 and 18. The first day of the tournament lined Biola up against the No. 3 Missouri Baptist Spartans and the No. 25 Grand View University Vikings. The No. 4 Eagles were able to get past both teams in four sets, improving their overall record to 19-1, as they prepared for their meeting with No. 14 Park University on Saturday. This team took them out in the semifinal round of the NAIA national championship tournament last year.

Biola first faced the Spartans at 12:30 p.m., a team coming in with a 24-3 record and a one spot advantage on the national rankings. None of that seemed to faze Biola, as they got out to an early 7-2 lead in the first set. A MoBap run gave them the lead in the middle of the set, Biola would not be denied and came away with the first set victory 25-19. The second set was a little bit closer, as both teams traded points back and forth before Biola took the 25-22 win. The Spartans fought hard for the third set, and ended with a 4-1 run after a 21-21 tie to take the third set 25-22. The fourth and final set was equally hard fought, but Biola etched out the victory by a score of 28-26.

Senior middle blocker Alyssa Mason led Biola’s offense in the match, garnering 16 kills off of 26 attempts with zero errors to give her an incredible .615 kill percentage. Freshmen outside hitters Karly Dantuma and Christina DenBoer got 11 and eight kills, respectively, to round out the top three Biola hitters. The Spartans helped Biola out by committing 31 attacking errors, while Biola only tallied 19.

The second game of the day happened at 5:30 p.m., as the host school Grand View Vikings looked to upset the Eagles. GVU came out strong, getting an 8-1 run in the middle of the game that led to their 25-21 first set victory. Biola responded strongly in the second set, earning the decisive 25-15 victory. The Vikings got closer and closer over the remaining two sets, but Biola held them off with a 25-21 third set win and 25-23 victory in the fourth set.

Mason again led Biola’s hitters, tallying 15 kills, only committing two attacking errors, and contributing three blocks. Senior outside hitter Joclyn Kirton also did her part by getting 13 kills and assisting in two blocks. Denboer was the only other Eagle to get double digit kills, as she posted 10 kills off of 30 attempts. Sophomore Tess Van Grouw helped out the Biola effort by getting three aces out of Biola’s seven total.

Biola’s next opponent is No. 13 Park University, and Biola will be looking for payback for their five set loss in the National semifinals last year. Play starts at 9:30 in the morning on Oct. 18, and unfortunately, live streaming will not be offered.

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