Volleyball sweeps Master’s, earns bye in NAIA tournament
Eagles win final regular season game
Biola volleyball finished off their regular season on a high note after a sweep at The Master’s College on Saturday night. The Eagles’ final record stands at 23-12 and has them tied for fourth place with a 10-8 conference mark. The Master’s College ended with a 19-14 record in the regular season, and a 7-11 record in Golden State Athletic Conference play.
Junior Christine Douglas had her best night of the season by far, recording 15 kills with only one error out of 20 attacks. Fellow junior Rachel Buckley followed close behind, recording seven kills out of her 11 swings and adding three blocks to her record. The two high scorers helped lead the Eagles to a 3-0 win over the Mustangs.
The first set of the match played out fairly well for the Eagles who, after some back and forth play, took a lead of 24-12, leading to an overall set victory of 25-16, which put the Eagles up 1-0.
The second set played out just as well as the first as Biola took an early 7-2 lead. The Mustangs would respond with a short run to tie the set at 9-9. After the exchange of a few points, Biola began to pull away about halfway through the set, allowing for a long 14-5 run which set up a 25-17 victory.
Eagles pull out third set win for sweep of Master’s
The third set proved to be more challenging for the Eagles as the Mustangs picked up the pace. This set featured 13 different ties and seven lead changes. A kill by Douglas, followed by a block by Douglas and freshman Amy Weststeyn, gave Biola the lead that they needed.
The Master’s were not willing to go down without a fight, and after a Mustang kill, the gap was closed to within one point. Biola struck with back-to-back kills by Weststeyn and Douglas, leaving the match at game point. An ace by sophomore Emily Weingartner ended the set 25-20, giving Biola the three-set victory and ending their regular season with a bang.
“Our sweep against Master’s on Saturday was exactly what we needed to do to get some momentum going for Nationals,” sophomore Gracee Gallarda said. “We won because all of us were able to stay mentally focused every point and we all honestly played as solid as we could have.”
No. 9 Eagles earn first-round bye
After the final NAIA poll, the Eagles have moved all the way up to the No. 9 spot in the rankings, giving them the first-round bye that they had hoped for and advancing them to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa.
“I am pumped to go do some work in Iowa,” senior Joy Talcott said. “We are peaking at the perfect time so I am excited to play well and make memories with the team.”
This is Biola volleyball’s fifth consecutive trip to the NAIA tournament, and its 11th total. The Eagles are currently 38-20 in tournament play and have reached the quarterfinals in nine out of their 10 appearances.
The national tournament will take place Nov. 29 to Dec. 3 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The top 11 teams going into the tournament have received opening round byes and will advance directly to the final site.