Spiking their way to comeback win

Volleyball sends Nighthawks home empty handed, track competes against Seattle U in dual meet

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

SPU’s volleyball team lost the first two sets in a match against Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday. To win the match, they needed to win three sets in a row.

And that’s just what they did.

Down 10-8 in the third set, the Falcons went on a 13 to three scoring run that gave them a commanding lead and a set win. The Nighthawks did score five points in a row near the end of the set, making the final score a close 25-21 contest.

The fourth set was a similar story, as the Nighthawks held a little advantage before the Falcons scored seven straight points, including two serves by redshirt freshman Lindsay Rosenthal that the Nighthawks could not return.

The Nighthawks were pesky and came back again to take a 21-20 lead, but the Falcons took five of the last six points to win 25-22.

The final set was a fight to the finish. The Falcons clung to a 12-11 lead, and a kill by senior Maddie Batiste and an error from the Nighthawks pushed the lead to 14-11. But still, the final point wasn’t guaranteed. Thanks to a few errors by the Falcons, the final set was tied at fourteen.

Freshman Hannah Hair and Sophomore Lindsey Lambert delivered the final blows to the Nighthawks with kills, giving the Falcons a 16-14 set win and a 3-2 match win.

Redshirt freshman Maddie Pruden led the Falcons with 13 kills, Batiste had 12 kills and 17 digs, Rosenthal had 12 kills and 13 digs, and sophomore Paige Dawson had 30 digs.

The Nighthawks were led by Brooke Foster’s 18 kills and 14 digs, and Mckenzie Lee’s 20 assists and 13 digs.

Meanwhile, the Falcon track teams competed at West Seattle Stadium on Friday. What made the event special was the fact that there was only one team competing against the Falcons, the first time the Falcons had participated in this “dual meet” style since 1978.

Associate Track and Field head coach Chris Reed said that the team didn’t prepare any differently for the meet, but that there were numerous challenges to overcome.

“Among those were the poor weather conditions, the relative lack of depth in the events across the board, and our continued adherence to and respect for the COVID-19 protocols that allow us the opportunity to compete this spring,” Reed said.

While the squad wasn’t fully happy with the results they achieved, they still had some things to be proud of as they honored the twelve seniors in the program.

Three seniors wrapped up two wins apiece on the day. Renick Meyer won the 100M hurdles and the long jump, Scout Cai won the pole vault and the javelin throw, and Grace Bley won the 100 and 200 meter dashes.

Right behind Bley in the 100 were junior Julia Stepper and sophomore Jenna Bouyer.

Falcon senior Dania Holmberg won the 1500 meter run, and freshman Belle Brandenfels won the 3000 meter run.

Other athletes having first time success were freshman Evan Carpenter and sophomore Julius Shepherd, who both won their first career races. Carpenter won the 200 meter dash, and Shepherd won the 400 meter dash.

“My mindset going into the 400 meter race is always to get out of the blocks strong and compete throughout the remainder of the race,” Shepherd said. “In order to build off of this success, I need to continue to stay focused in practice and keep my body in the shape that it needs to be in. There are many areas where my coaches and I feel like I can improve in, so we are taking it one step at a time,”

To round out the rest of the events for the Falcons, junior Brayden Schultz finished in second in the 800 meter run, sophomore Jared Putney, freshman Austin Weese and senior Elius Graff went first, second and third in the steeplechase, freshman Kainoa Lee won the men’s pole vault, and sophomore David Njeri won the long jump.