Revenge is sweet

Biola volleyball defeats the No. 1 ranked Columbia Cougars in five sets on day two of the Hastings College Tournament.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

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With a tough five-set loss to Grand View College the day before still fresh in their minds, the Biola Eagles volleyball team stepped onto the court to face the defending NAIA National Champions, the No. 1 ranked Columbia College Cougars. Five long and grueling sets later, Biola emerged victorious – their first five-set victory of the season. The Eagles improve to 5-4 for the season and 1-2 in their showing at the Bill Marshall Volleyball Classic.

Despite the 10 new faces this year for Biola volleyball, the Eagles jumped out to an electric start. The first set featured a season record for hitting percentage, as Biola finished at .565 due to 14 kills and only one error. They went on to win the first set 25-16, then the second 25-20.

Columbia came back to win the next two sets, 25-16 and 26-24 respectively, in order to force a deciding fifth set. In those third and fourth sets, Biola’s offensive efficiency dropped to .103, while Columbia increased theirs to .261.

The all-important fifth set stayed close all the way into double digits, as Biola held a slim 12-11 lead. The final three points came courtesy of a pair of Columbia errors and a Biola service ace. With the 15-11 final score, the Eagles finally got revenge for last year’s quarterfinal loss to the Cougars.

In terms of individual standouts for Biola, the middle blockers stole the show. Sophomore Sierra Bauder and junior Ally Forsberg each earned 15 kills, with Bauder leading the way in hitting percentage, at .565. Sophomore opposite Karly Dantuma came in third in kills, achieving 11 of her own from the right side of the net.

Junior libero Tess van Grouw asserted her dominance from the back row, where the upperclassman captain doubled her next-closest teammate in digs, saving 14 balls from hitting the floor. Van Grouw also led Biola in service aces, tallying three. Freshman defensive specialist Kaitlin O’Brien contributed two of her own, and Bauder following with one ace.

Biola flies back to California on a high note to face an equally important opponent. Old NAIA and future NCAA rival Azusa Pacific University will face Biola in a scrimmage at 5 p.m. in Chase Gym on Aug. 30.