Sweeps abound for volleyball

Biola ends this week of competition with three shutout wins and one shutout loss.
Jason Lin/ THE CHIMES [file]
Jason Lin/ THE CHIMES [file]

The Eagles volleyball team had a full week of matches, traveling up to Northern California for a two-game trip against William Jessup University and Menlo College, then coming home for a tough matchup against No. 1 ranked Westmont College, and finally a non-conference match against Life Pacific College. Biola went 3-1 on the week, earning its three wins in shutout fashion, but also losing to Westmont in three sets.

Bright spots depite a loss

“I think the take-home is that we need to be playing better against the better competition,” said head coach Aaron Seltzer. “We do not have any issues sort of with the mid-level teams. We need to be a little more competitive and a little more focused.”

The week started out on a moderately positive note, as they earned the sweep of William Jessup on Oct. 21, but played far from their best volleyball. Biola had a total kill percentage of .181, a number on the lower end compared to their usual play. Sophomore opposite Karly Dantuma and sophomore outside Hannah van Warmerdam proved the bright spots for the Eagles’ offense, finishing with 10 and 13 kills, respectively.

They stepped up their game substantially against Menlo on Oct. 22, increasing their kill percentage to .277, thanks to earning more kills on less attempts than the Jessup match. The second set against Menlo proved especially good, as the Eagles finished with an incredible .483 kill percentage due to 18 kills and four errors off 29 attacks. Dantuma and Warmerdam again led in the kills category, with Dantuma tallying an insane 18 kills and Warmerdam putting away 12 balls.

The rough spot of the week occurred on Oct. 26, when Westmont came into Chase Gymnasium with a 27-0 record and showed it, defeating the Eagles in deceptively simple fashion. Coach Seltzer unfortunately input the wrong lineup in set one which resulted in three out-of-rotation penalties and general confusion for the entire set. Biola played much better second and third sets, but still could not overcome the Warriors’ stifling defense or relentless attackers.

Taking out their aggression

The Eagles took out their aggression on Life Pacific on Oct. 28, sending the two-year old program home with their third consecutive sweep at the hands of Biola. They finished with a .304 kill percentage, their second-highest number so far this season. In addition, the Eagles finished with 13 service aces, led by six from freshman defensive specialist Anna Houser. Freshman outside hitter Alyx Dunham ended as the only hitter in double digits for kills, finishing with 11.
Biola has a two-day rest before taking to the court again on Oct. 29 for a match against The Master’s University Mustangs that has significance for two reasons. First, this marks the final regular season home game, and therefore senior night for outside Olivia Sorensen and setter Tori Moons. Second, according to Seltzer, a loss for Biola would mean they would not earn an automatic entrance into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament and would have to climb their way to the top in the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament. Play on Saturday starts inside Chase Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
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Sweeps abound for volleyball