Like Butter: Falcons Take 3 of 4 in Weekend Tournament
By Ben Bovenzi, GoMessiah.com reporter
Beginning on Friday, the Falcons opened the tournament by sweeping host Muhlenberg (25-11, 25-9, 25-12). Messiah’s Jess Geib notched 31 assists while junior Lauren Rees added 14 kills on an astonishing .560 hitting percentage in the win. Later Friday evening, the Falcons faced a tougher team in DeSales, but executed another 3-0 win (25-19, 25-20, 25-21), capping off a prosperous Friday campaign.
The Falcons started their play Saturday against Moravian, dropping the match 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-12, 25-18). Messiah’s Geib finished with 28 assists while fellow sophomore Jordyn Scheib contributed 7 kills on a .312 kill percentage in the loss.
“We didn’t play as aggressively as we had in our previous games,” said Messiah head coach Judi Tobias. “We get another crack at them next Friday night (when they visit Messiah) which I’m excited to do and, yeah, we’ll be ready.”
Messiah played without their starting middle hitter, junior Lindsey King, who is recovering from a recent injury. The Falcons found a reliable replacement in freshman Julia Temple, who earned praise from Tobias.
“Julia, as a first year player, stepped up and did just fine.”
Messiah finished up the tournament against Neumann, defeating the Knights 3-2 in an intense five game match (25-18, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13). Messiah’s Rees and Temple led the Falcons with a combined 31 kills in the win. Rees tallied a team high 27 while Temple added her four on zero hitting errors on 17 swings. With the victory, Messiah finished runner-up to Moravian, who went 4-0 on the weekend. Messiah’s Jess Geib and Lauren Rees were named to the All-Tournament team.
Going into their second season together, Geib and Rees have developed into a strong 1-2 punch, as they lead the team statistically for assists and kills, respectively.
“They’re doing great. They’ve settled in well.” said Tobias of the pair. “It seems like they’ve gotten reconnected well and they’re starting to settle in so that we can keep moving forward and pushing them further.”
Despite having team leaders in Geib and Rees, Tobias was quick to mention that her squad is a roster that is full of leadership.
“I think the team chemistry is pretty strong; I think we do a good job assessing where we’re weak and where we need to move forward. What’s good is that they’re willing to work on weak areas and try to get stronger.”
The Falcons (6-2, 0-0) will look to continue their strong play on Wednesday, September 14, when they host Lycoming College in their first Commonwealth Conference match-up. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. in Brubaker Auditorium.