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Volleyball gives seniors victory lap

The Eagles swept Dixie State University on senior night.

 

Head coach Aaron Seltzer grabbed the microphone and started praising his three outgoing players in front of a crowd that included several family members who journeyed to watch their loved ones play a Biola volleyball game at Chase Gymnasium for the last time. On one side of the court, the athletics staff set up tables full of catered food. Bouquets and hugs were handed out generously. It was a full-on celebration, and the Eagles provided plenty to celebrate, defeating the Dixie State Trailblazers in straight sets on senior night.

EAGLES EARN EIGHTH SWEEP OF THE SEASON

“I could not have thought of a better ending [to the regular season] than tonight,” Seltzer said. “I’m so thankful. God’s so good to us.”

In one of their best performances of the year, Biola never trailed against a stingy DSU defense. The Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead on set one and never let the Trailblazers get any closer, winning easily by a score of 25-18. Sophomore outside hitter Sabrina Winslow got things started with four kills within Biola’s first eight points, then senior outside hitter Alli Beezer helped seal the set with three late kills to help seal the set win.

The Eagles again rolled to an early lead in the second set, scoring seven of the first nine points. Junior middle blocker Sierra Bauder dominated throughout, notching two kills in Biola’s initial run then notching three more during a stretch that saw her team go up by as many as 10. Bauder then finished off the set with an ace for the 25-14 win. Set three started out more evenly until the Eagles took a 10-4 lead on a 5-0 run helped by kills from Beezer and senior middle blocker Ally Forsberg. The Eagles controlled the set from there, getting the final point of their 25-13 sweep-clinching win on another kill from Beezer.

Winslow led all players with 15 kills, but the night truly belonged to the seniors. After the game, a grateful Seltzer spoke for nearly 10 minutes about the accomplishments of his team, focusing on how Beezer, Forsberg and senior libero Tess Van Grouw have impacted him and their teammates.

SELTZER HONORS SENIORS

Beezer had seven kills, her most in a game during her only season at Biola.

“She comes out with this heart and passion every single day we play,” Seltzer said. “She’s super competitive, she fits right in.”

Forsberg finished with four kills of her own, ending her injury-riddled final season on a high note. Like he did with Beezer, Seltzer honored her with a generous amount of playing time throughout the match.

“If you come here just to play volleyball, you’re not coming to the right place,” Seltzer said. “I think what we really saw [through her injury] from the leadership and the heart that Ally has is her heart for God. That’s really humbling, it’s very, very encouraging.”

Van Grouw, the lone regular starter of the trio, finished with a team-high of 12 digs. The only one of the three to spend all four years at Biola, Van Grouw rarely left the court during her final home game, the ultimate sign of respect from a coach who has referred to her as the heart and soul of the team.

“If the team can have a mentality of everyone else being more important than yourself, on and off the court, then they’ll be set, I think, for success,” Van Grouw said.

 

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