The volleyball era at Spurgeon College got off to a rousing start on Sept. 1, as the Knights battled Calvary University in a five-set match—taking the Warriors to the brink of elimination before falling just short—losing 20-25, 11-25, 25-18, 27-25, and 16-18.
The historic evening at the Mathena Student Center saw a raucous crowd whose spirit wasn’t dampened in any way by social distancing measures in the stands nor by masks on their faces. In fact, after the initial excitement of the game was briefly tempered by losses in the first two sets, the crowd urged the Knights to climb back into the match and roared louder and louder throughout the comeback.
President Jason Allen praised the Knights for their strong effort saying, “This was an electric night in the Mathena Student Center. The atmosphere we experienced here is all we had hoped for when introducing collegiate sports to our campus.
“I can’t be prouder of the effort our Knights made in battling a very talented Calvary University varsity squad to the very end. Obviously, we were pulling for the win, but thanks to the great work of Coach Evie Stanton, and the tremendous effort of our team, they played tough and the future is bright.”
Calvary took the first two sets handily and had the third set under control when the Knights furious comeback began. The Knights then staved off a match point in the fourth game before going on to force game five. The decisive game saw the Knights one point away from victory, when the Warriors stormed back for the win.
Sidney Miller, a freshman from San Antonio, Texas, led the Knights in most categories including a game high double-double with 28 kills and 13 digs. She added two aces and had a .388 hitting percentage—overall, she accounted for 30 points.
Shaley Miller, a sophomore from Kansas City, Mo., contributed 31 assists, which was also a game high.
Other contributors from the Knights’ first collegiate volleyball game included Samantha Zelaya, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., Hannah Bingham, a senior from Richmond, Va., Melody Owen, a junior from Emerson, Ark., Sarah Commerford, a sophomore from Overland Park, Kan., and Amelia Jackson, a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa, and Samantha Dobbs, a freshman from Kansas City, Mo.
Stanton admitted that the competition brought by Calvary was solid and challenged her team. However, she was proud of the Knights’ drive to compete.
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