The CU basketball team came up short on Thursday afternoon as Faith edged Calvary 74-75 in the quarter-final round of the MCCC Tournament. The Warriors were led by Jamal Smith who finished the day with 30 points and five boards. Jonah Murr contributed 17 points and five boards. The Warriors continue play in the consolation bracket tomorrow at 12:00pm.
The women’s basketball team picked up their first win of the post-season with a 49-45 victory over Central Christian College Thursday morning in Haviland, KS. With today’s win, the Warriors have improved to 11-12 on the season.
“It was great for the team to get this win,” said Head Coach Robby Bollinger. “We had a huge 4th quarter! The CU men’s team started chanting and the atmosphere in the gym shifted! We went on a run with Katie hitting a huge three and then Skylar hitting two big jump shots late! Belle and Kim were able to ice it late at the free throw line!”
This back-and-forth game was close throughout. The Warriors took a 22-17 lead into the half with a terrific defensive performance. The tightly contested contest continued through the third quarter with the Saints stiffening their defensive effort to end the quarter all tied at 29-29.
Starting the fourth quarter Calvary gained some much-needed momentum and finished a true team effort defensively and offensively. The final score was 49-45. Up next, the Warriors are back tomorrow in the MCCC Conference Tournament semi-finals. They will face Ozark Christian College at 6 pm.
“What an honor and a gift it is to be at Calvary as the head volleyball coach.”
Dr. Alex Granados, president of Calvary University is pleased to announce Jojo Wilkes has been hired as the new Women’s Head Volleyball Coach at Calvary University. The former Faith Baptist Bible College volleyball standout has been named the tenth head coach in the history of the Calvary University volleyball program. Wilkes most recently served as the assistant coach for Spurgeon College from 2021-2023. She worked alongside head coach Evie Stanton to build and transform the Knights program into a NCCAA SW Region contender. “We are excited to welcome Jojo Wilkes as our new head coach for the Lady Warriors,” said Calvary University Athletic Director Jeanette Regier. “Coach Wilkes understands and is passionate about Calvary University’s mission of helping students live according to the Biblical worldview and serve both in the church and throughout the world. We believe she will carry on these Calvary values with great distinction and enhance the culture of our athletic program.” As an accomplished player for the legendary coach, Lanny Nihart, Jojo was a vital member of four impressive Faith Eagle teams from 2012-2015. She was named Second Team All American as an outside hitter in 2014, and then switched positions during her senior season to play Libero. She received the NCCAA North Region Libero of the year award during her final campaign and was named to the NCCAA North Regional First Team in 2013, 2014, and 2015. “It is an exciting time for Calvary University Volleyball aswe bring on Jojo Wilkes as our head coach. Having played volleyball against Calvary teams for six seasons, she is no stranger to the Calvary ethos”, said CU Athletic Director, Jeanette Regier. “She brings a wealth of knowledge, a love for Christ, and a work ethic that will elevate our program.” Wilkes got into coaching starting in August of 2016 at Grand View Christian School in Des Moines, Iowa, while she was a teacher there. Two years later, she took a position teaching and coaching in the program at Fourth Baptist Christian School in Plymouth, Minnesota. She served in the volleyball program there for three years before moving to Kansas City and joining the Spurgeon College staff. “What an honor and a gift it is to be at Calvary as the head volleyball coach. The years I spent playing volleyball had a great impact on my life, and I hope to be able to give the teams I coach a similar experience,” noted Wilkes. “I’m ready to implement what I have learned over the years from my mentors and excited to bring in players and families to compete at Calvary.” Jojo married her husband Marcus seven years ago this coming August. They have two beautiful children, Addie (2) and Cohen (10 mo). They currently live in Overland Park, Kansas. “We are excited to introduce Jojo Wilkes as our new head women’s volleyball coach. During my conversations with her, I was impressed by her leadership skills, coaching philosophy, and level of commitment to the student-athletes. I have no doubt Jojo will be an excellent fit for our athletic department and our volleyball program will thrive under her direction,” said Matt Sanders, Calvary’s Associate Athletic Director. “We are excited to see how she will help Calvary Athletics in our mission to develop and graduate true crown chasers.” Welcome to Calvary Volleyball, Jojo!
Jojo Wilkes and her husband, Marcus, live in Overland Park, KS, with their two children.
Captain of the women’s volleyball team, Leah Grady, was awarded the Dr. Vickie Grooms Denny Award, which is given annually to one volleyball player within the NCCAA member institutions who demonstrates outstanding character on and off the court. Director of Calvary’s Athletic Department, Jeannette Regier, states: “Leah has pursued leadership, athletic, academic, and spiritual goals as others have poured into her life. This award allows us to celebrate with her what God has done in and through her.”
When Josh Johnson, head coach of Calvary’s women’s volleyball team, was asked about his thoughts on his experience with Leah, he said a particular experience came to mind. An early “battle” he fought with her was over missing practices and matches in September each year: “Every coach has to set a standard and her missing these team events ran in opposition to the standard I put in place.” Yet, he said that Leah’s reason for missing the practices was a beautiful one: “She wanted to miss these events so she could be at a kid’s club outreach and discipleship event in her hometown. The Lord allowed her to go back most years (sometimes against my will) and yet, when I filled out the nomination form for the Dr. Vickie Grooms Denny award, her commitment to that club was near the top of the list for why she should be chosen. Leah loved that ministry because she loved the children, and that was beautiful to witness.” He added, “Leah has led our team for two years now as captain. Even during her sophomore year, she was one of our leaders. She has led our girls to committing scripture to memory, shown up in a timely manner to 6 a.m. workouts on a weekly basis, and has even led small group devotions in the dorms her junior and senior year.”
When asked to reflect on her own growth, Leah stated that as a freshman she only cared about what was best for herself, and after tearing her ACL, considered giving up volleyball completely. Yet, after 10 months of intense physical therapy and much encouragement from her previous coach, Tressa Barnes, Leah decided to play another year: “My sophomore year was a challenging year, coming back from my ACL injury, trying to be present, loving the girls on my team well, and not getting inside my head.” She opened up about a particular experience that helped change her perspective: “There was a challenging practice when Coach Josh called me into his office. He read Ephesians 1 and talked me through where my identity in Christ is truly found. I sat there sobbing, wanting so desperately to receive that truth. That conversation and countless others began a process of growth in my life (not perfection). Through the good moments and the bad, Coach Josh didn’t give up on me and instead pointed me to the truth.” She states: “Knowing that Coach Josh wouldn’t give up on me helped me receive the truth that God is also for me and is never giving up on me.”
When receiving the award, Leah stated she was incredibly humbled and wished her team had been around her because they had also been through her journey: “All I could think was ‘But God’! He has done so much work in my life, and He is the reason I was able to receive the Dr. Vickie Grooms Denny award! All glory goes to Him! I have learned so many lessons through my experience; to receive help from God and my community, to accept failure as an opportunity to learn, and to pursue growth, not perfection.”
The Warrior volleyball team came out fast and rallied late in the first set to win, and then carried that momentum into sets two and three to sweep Faith Baptist Bible College 3-0 on Saturday in Ankeny, IA. With the win, the Warriors improve to 11-7 on the season.
“Faith came ready to play and they were hungry to win on Homecoming weekend,” Warrior Head Coach Josh Johnson said. “Our serve really got us the lead and shifted momentum back our way when we needed it. Defensively we were able to play well, and we just kept playing until we found ways to score.” Earlier this season, the Warriors and Eagles battled in Kansas City with the Eagles earning a 3-1 road win.
In set one, Calvary came out fast with great all-around play. Towards the end of set one the Eagles went on a 1-8 run to tie the score at 23-23. Coach Johnson called a timeout to try to stop the momentum and the Warriors regrouped to win 25-23.
The important hold in set one swung momentum in the Warriors favor and it showed as the team stormed out to a lead in set two. Leah Grady was dominant on the front line as she totaled 13 kills with only three hitting errors. Her 53% attack percentage helped push the lead. Faith tried to answer back but the Warriors wouldn’t be denied as a kill by Kolbie Krempges helped the team take a 2-0 lead with a 25-14 win in set two.
With a sweep on their minds, the Warriors again came out strong in the third set thanks to great serving. After a pair of kills by Allie Edwards and Elle Davis the Warriors led by three and looked to build a big lead once again. The Eagles had other plans as they battled back to take their first lead of the day.
Davis then provided a big spark for the Warriors followed by a four-point run for Calvary as the team took the lead for good. The Eagles stayed tough and tried to mount one last rally, but the Warriors wouldn’t be denied as they won the set 25-20 and the match 3-0.
“We have seen this season that we can play very well at times, but we can also be inconsistent,” Coach Johnson said. “If we can play our style we’ll be very competitive going forward.”
The Warrior defense held the Eagles to a team attack percentage of 0% throughout the day. It was a huge key for the sweep. The Warrior serving attack totaled thirteen aces to the Eagles two.
Miriam McCubbin and Kolbie Krempges led the defensive effort with thirteen digs a piece. Amber Northrop finished with 26 assists on the day. Grady finished with thirteen kills while Elle Davis and Kolbie Krempges combined for eleven kills in the win.
Next up, the Warriors will be home again on Tuesday night as the team welcomes Manhattan Christian.
Another win is in the books as the Warriors defeated rival Barclay College 3-1 on Friday night. The Pyramid was full of fans wanting to be there to support their Lady Warriors. The Warriors gave the fans their money’s worth today. CU improved to 4-0 on the season with the win.
In the first and second sets, the Warriors started with big serves and gained momentum with some big swings from Leah Grady. Elle Davis, Haley Arneson, Mickenzie Rairdon, and Alli Edwards all teamed together to help Grady control the front line. The Warriors played very well throughout both sets. They won both sets, 25-16 and 25-19.
The third set didn’t fare so well for the Warriors. Calvary struggled with a few of their serves and started with multiple errors in the net or out of bounds. In the end, the Warriors couldn’t overcome the Bear’s momentum losing 16-25, still up 2-1 in the match.
The Warriors fought in the fourth set as they built another significant lead. Alli Edwards started CU off strong in serving. Arneson and Rairdon did a great job on the attack in the final set. The Warriors went on to win the set 25-17 for a 3-1 victory.
For the match, Calvary finished with a 2.02 ranking on serve receive, while Barclay finished with a 1.43. This serve receive effort gave Calvary a significant advantage to push through for the win.