Splitting the difference

Biola volleyball loses to Carroll College and wins against UC Merced on Saturday.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

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Day two of the Hope International Labor Day Tournament saw the Biola Eagles volleyball team split their two matches. The first of the day turned into a barn-burner, as the Carroll College Fighting Saints came away with the win after forcing five sets against the Eagles. Biola took their frustration out on the UC Merced Bobcats, beating them in straight sets and finishing the weekend on a high note.

Coming off a successful first day of the tournament, Biola started strong against Carroll, garnering 15 kills and a .423 kill percentage in the first set that led them to a 25-17 win. Carroll came back in the second to win 25-22, but the story really revolved around Biola errors. Biola got 17 kills, but tripled the Fighting Saints’ attack errors, finishing with nine mistakes in that second set.

That trend continued into the third set, as Biola’s offense made the score respectable, finishing with 20 kills. They also made 10 errors, which allowed Carroll to eke out the 27-25 win. The Eagles cleaned up their game in the fourth set, winning it 25-18 thanks to the 15 kills and only four errors.

The decisive fifth set came down to the wire, as both teams traded possession of the lead. The score differential never rose past two points, until finally a ball handling error from Biola gave Carroll the 15-13 set win to take the match.

The Eagles rebounded from that disappointing loss by shutting out UC Merced in dramatic fashion. Biola’s offense went to work, more than doubling the Bobcats’ kill total and winning in just under an hour. Set one finished with a score of 25-15, the second set ended at 25-12 and the final set read 25-17 as play concluded.

Junior middle blocker Ally Forsberg led Biola in kills for the UC Merced match, finishing with 10 kills, the only Eagle in the match to break double digits. Junior libero Tess van Grouw had only two less digs than the entire Bobcats’ team had in kills, and freshman defensive specialist Kaitlin O’Brien led the Eagles with four aces, double the amount the Bobcats earned.

Biola improves to 8-5 on the season, and their next match finds them back in the Hope International gym, where the NAIA regular season officially begins. Play starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 6.