ANKENY, IA - The Lady Eagles (#4) were prepared for a tough third place match to be served up by #3 seed and tournament host Faith Baptist Bible College, and indeed that is what the Ankeny team delivered. Faith stormed out of the gate in sets one and two with very aggressive serving, pushing Emmaus into a large starting deficit. The Lady Eagles could not recover, and Faith took dominant wins in both sets. "It was a case where they were doing everything right and we were struggling with execution," said Coach Pitman. "When Faith plays ball like this, especially in their own gym, they are very difficult to stop."
In the break between sets two and three, the Lady Eagles regained composure and went about turning things around on their side of the court. "We were in a tough spot, and we really emphasized that we needed to play as if there was nothing to lose – to leave everything we had on the court", said Coach Pitman. Emmaus began with a strong serving run, forcing a Faith timeout, and found some good tempo and rhythm to take set three. Set four found the Lady Eagles putting up a strong fight, pushing the score to a 20-20 tie, but that was as close as it would be, as Faith sealed the victory with another strong serving run to end the match.
"A very large part of volleyball is momentum, and today Faith was able to capture it and was the better team," commented Coach Pitman. "I have a great deal of respect for Coach Nihart and his ladies and wish them all the best as they move on to their regional tournament next weekend."
Although they could not pull off the upset in the tournament, Emmaus should be proud of their MCCC play this season. "In August I thought finishing fourth in the regular season and conference tournament would be a stretch for us, and the team worked very hard this year to get us to this point," said Coach Pitman. "The MCCC is a very competitive conference and I am glad we were able to keep up with the other teams. I think anyone who has watched us play can see that we have struggles in certain areas, and most of those are due to youth and inexperience. We also see a great deal of potential and a very bright outlook for this team, and it is my hope that we will keep pressing on to honor the Lord in all that we do."
The Lady Eagles play their final home game of the season on Thursday (10/29) against NCAA DIII opponent Mt. Mary (Milwaukee, WI). The Blue Angels handed Emmaus a 3-1 loss in September. Match time is 6:00 pm in the Pollard Fieldhouse.