Perfection in tournament pool

Biola gets revenge on Park University for their defeat in the semifinals of the NAIA tournament last year.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

Following their victories over Madonna University and Evangel University on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, the Biola Eagles volleyball team faced the Park University Pirates, the team that eliminated the Eagles in the semi-final round of the NAIA tournament last year.

This game was technically meaningless, as Biola had already secured their advancement into the next round and Park had already been eliminated due to losing both of their previous matches. Regardless, both teams played hard, as the Eagles were trying to get the bragging rights of having gone 3-0 in pool play, and Park trying to avoid going 0-3. Biola would not be denied, and walked away from the pool undefeated following a 3-1 win over the Pirates.

Biola outplayed Park in every stat column, including kills, aces and blocks. Biola got 59 kills, 10 more than Park could put up, while also committing two less attacking errors. The last time these two teams met earlier this season, Park had a nearly .300 kill percentage. This time, Biola limited them to only .171, while the Eagles put up a decent .258 average.

Biola’s serving was on point in this game, as they ended with seven aces while only allowing Park to get three. Senior right side hitter Crissy Cunningham single-handedly tied the Pirates team for aces, as she ended the match with three. Freshman setter Becca Branch and senior setter Ashton Arbuthnot made up the remainder of the aces, with each player ending with two.

Biola’s front row was a wall at the net, ending the game with 10 blocks. Senior middle blocker Alyssa Mason was there for most of them, contributing to six total blocks, three of which were solo blocks.

Mason was also the kills leader for the Eagles, putting up 16 kills with only two errors. Senior outside hitters Joclyn Kirton and Britta Blaser each put up 13 kills of their own with three errors apiece.

The Eagles move to 29-3 on the season, and will play Madonna again in the first of the single-elimination rounds that begin Dec. 4 at 8 a.m. PST.

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