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Falcons Improve to 9-2 With Defeats of Susquehanna, Moravian
Messiah hosted the Annual Old Friends Crossover in Grantham on Friday night, coming away with two wins.

By Ben Bovenzi, GoMessiah.com reporter
Grantham, PA – If the Messiah women’s volleyball team continues to treat their friends like this, they may not have any left. The Falcons defeated both Susquehanna University and Moravian College on Friday at their annual Old Friends Crossover, improving to 9-2 on the year.

Coming in to the competition with a record of 7-2 (1-0), the experienced Messiah squad defeated Susquehanna University 3-1 and swept Moravian College 3-0 to improve their record to 9-2 on the season.

Messiah Head Coach Judi Tobias, in her 16th season with the Falcons, was delighted with her team’s efforts and their display of resilience throughout the night, on which the lady Falcons played roughly four hours of volleyball in the back-to-back matches.

“This was great competition for us,” said Tobias. “To keep pushing ourselves and get better-that’s what we need to be able to do. These teams pushed us, they were competitive.”

The first match of the night for Messiah came against Susquehanna, who tested Messiah’s aggressiveness with a 25-23 second set win over the Falcons after Messiah took the first game 25-17. Armed with the shrewd hands of sophomore setter Jess Geib, the crushing arm of junior Lauren Rees, and the skilled forearms of senior Megan Wise, the Falcons fought through the next two games earning victories of 25-21, 25-23 and a “W” for their efforts. Geib finished with 34 assists, six kills and two aces, while Rees added 13 kills and 14 digs. Wise tallied 22 digs in the win.

While the Falcons played an intense four game stretch verse Susquehanna, the biggest story of the evening was Messiah’s dominant play against Moravian College— a team that beat the Falcons 3-1 last weekend. Messiah topped the Moravian Greyhounds 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 26-24), in what proved to be a most fervent and intense match-up.

Messiah’s Tobias was pleased with her squad’s play and aggressiveness throughout the match.

“Moravian’s a good team, they’re real solid,” said Tobias. “To lose to them last weekend and to come back and beat them felt very good. It certainly wasn’t easy—they made us work hard, but we made them work hard and I’m excited to see the dedicated work the girls gave forth point by point.”

Messiah’s Geib dished out 25 assists and served three aces, Rees added 9 kills, and fellow junior Lindsey King finished with six kills and four blocks in the win. It was Geib that made the highlight of the night however, when the 5’4 setter knocked in an overpass early in the second game, bouncing the ball inside the ten-foot line. Overall, Messiah’s play referenced solid communication, smart play, and extreme determination to win.

“We came back from deficits over three times in the match, which was awesome,” noted Tobias. “I’m thrilled with our toughness and our ability to bounce back from adversity. It speaks a lot about the mental aspect of our game.”

Messiah will take their play to Commonwealth rival Widener University this Tuesday, Sept. 20, where the Falcons hope to continue their ongoing court success.

When asked about her thoughts on the upcoming match, Messiah’s Rees was all focus and fortitude going into the must-see match-up.

“I’m pumped,” said Rees. “Absolutely pumped. It’s going to be a good game. We both really want the title so every game we play will be dedicated and very driven. Our attitude is extremely focused this season. We say ‘all for Him’ before our games. But often we are forced remind ourselves throughout the game who we’re playing for and what this season’s really about—using our talents to glorify the Lord.”

Messiah is set to play the opponent at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Widener, where both teams will be looking to get one step closer to the MAC title.