Vanguard dethrones the Eagles
AN EARLY LEAD
Vanguard opened the match by getting off to an early 6-1 lead in the first game. The Eagles rallied to come within one point being down 11-12, but failed to take the lead the entire game. The Lions won the first game 25-21. This is the first set Biola lost since beating Westmont University 3-2 on Sept. 22.
“Their atmosphere is just really hard to play in,” said senior outside hitter Britta Blaser. “They’re super close to the court and they packed that gym. They were excited for every single point so I think that contributed to the fact that we just didn’t come out ready to play as much as I hoped we would have.”
Although the Lions started the second game by winning the first two points, The Eagles were able to regain composure and win the set by a score of 25-20. After two games the match was tied 1-1.
Biola fought hard to carry their second game momentum into a third game, but the Lions were determined to win at home. After five lead changes, The Eagles had a game point, but failed to capitalize and eventually lost the game 28-26.
TOO MUCH TO RECOVER
Losing the third game proved too much to recover from for the Eagles. After five consecutive points to close out the match, Vanguard won the final set by a score of 25-17, resulting in a 3-1 victory.
Vanguard now ranks first in GSAC with a 7-0 conference record, although they hold a 14-4 record on the season. Biola was knocked down to second in GSAC after losing to the Lions. The Eagles still rank higher in NAIA.
“We definitely have them in the back of our minds,” Blaser said. “I think we’re just excited to play them again and beat them, because we’re definitely capable.”
AIMING FOR PERFECTION
Biola’s 15-game winning streak to open up the season ties the 2013 season when the Eagles lost their 16th game to Concordia University on Oct. 12, 2013.
“It’d be nice to go a whole season undefeated,” Blaser said. “But when you are defeated it teaches you things you didn’t know about your team. Like Coach said, it’s a refocus on what we need to do to get better.”
The Eagles look to learn from this loss as they prepare for a three-game road trip to Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 16. During this trip they will play the Park University Panthers, the team that knocked them out in the semifinals of the NAIA National Tournament last season.
Before their trip, the Eagles play two conference teams away, including Arizona Christian College on Oct. 8. The Firestorm currently hold a season record of 2-14 and sit at the bottom of the GSAC conference with a 0-8 conference record.