Hope rises to the top

After a five-year losing streak, Hope Hall takes home the Nationball winner’s belt.

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Brooks Ginnan/THE CHIMES

Brooks Ginnan/THE CHIMES

Brooks Ginnan/THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

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In the final face-off between Off Campus Community and Hope Hall for Nationball 2016, the buzzer rang and Hope erupted in cheers as the referees declared them the winner.

Prior to defeating OCC, Hope also beat Blackstone Hall and StewHart. Their last win happened in 2011, meaning most current students watched the hall take home the recognition for the first time. Students from losing dorms felt like winners in how they established a stronger bond with their dorm communities.

“I’m excited because this is my senior year here at Biola, I’ve been repping Hope Hall everytime and it is finally our turn to win,” said Madeline Pefferle, senior nursing major and Hope Hall resident.

Bethany Miller, director of the athletic department, made an announcement before the first match reminding the crowd of Biola’s move from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to the National Collegiate Athletic Association next year. Commemorative red t-shirts which read “The Red Sea” on the front and list key dates for this school year’s athletic events on the back were passed out to students.

In an effort to demonstrate the rules, faculty and staff played against Biola athletic coaches. Each team was six to ten members, allowing students to see the faculty in a less serious environment, said Taylor Venegas, intramurals logistics coordinator.

Faculty and staff enjoyed the privilege of being able to attend and participate in the event this year, which they had not done in the past. While staff looked forward to playing a round of dodgeball, applied instructional technology administrator Matthew Weathers awaited seeing the atmosphere of Nationball.

“I’m excited to see all the different colors, it’s amazing to see people sitting in different sections with all this dorm team spirit, all that type of stuff,” Weathers said.

Before Hope’s success over OCC, things intensified in the fifth round against StewHart. Referees determined Hope’s opponent had cheated when students donned “The Red Sea” shirts and played for StewHart despite living in different halls. A new round began with five men and five women from each team, leading to StewHart’s defeat.

For half-time entertainment, each team sent a member to a dance off in the middle of the gym. After a few songs, the contestants were narrowed down to finalists junior communication major Danny Abraham from Sigma, senior public relations and biblical studies major Luke Taylor from OCC, and junior elementary education major Savannah Ozier from Alpha.

“I always get nervous before doing the dance because I get intimidated by dancing by myself, but all my Alpha friends and team and family encouraged me. And so that support gets me pumped and it makes me feel so loved and so I just go out there and do my thing,” Ozier said.

As the competition wrapped up, Taylor won for the second year in a row.

At the end, Hope walked away with bragging rights as they held the title in their hands. Freshman business administration major Josiah Reizenstein from Hope explained his excitement on being in the front as they defeated their final opponents.

“I was up at the front, man. I was freaking smashing ‘em, dude! It was insane up in there!” Reizenstein said.

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