April 5, 2020
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Honor Calls with Eagles Volleyball

I think it was our 2009 season. We were
playing in the NCCA national tournament and we saw another team that was doing honor
calls—Cedarville University and our players were really intrigued by it and
started talking about it a lot in the stands. Honor calls are where we—it’s
typically when it goes off a block and we touch the ball and no one sees,
the refs don’t see or the coaches don’t see and they don’t call it. So we go up to
the head ref and say we touched the ball so the other team can have the point
that they earn. I told her players a couple years ago that it was my dream
that we would continue to win and just get to the the biggest stage possible.
You know, for us that’s the Elite Eight the Final Four a national championship
game and yet not compromise on our integrity and how cool would it be if we
could get to a really big game like that and somehow be willing to lose the match
on an honor call. And sure enough, last year we’re playing in the Final Four… I
didn’t realize it was last point but I went up to block and I missed the
ball and it went out of bounds. And so the refs called it out and once I realized
that they called it out, sometimes it takes a second to realize that their call
was wrong—I went and I told them I touched the ball. and…. For some
that was end of careers, and for me the end of the last season. I don’t think teams
are expecting it or even fans. And we’ve had lots of people email our
coach or even come up to just random players or even me and they’ve
just said that’s so amazing, like, that’s so hard to do that. Like I said,
being competitive, you don’t want to give up any points and especially in a
time where it could end your season, it’s just even more amazing that, you
know, it’s not what we want to do but it’s something that we have to do
and I think that really impacts people who are watching. If something were
to happen in life, I don’t take the time and think “oh should I do this or that?”
it’s more automatic. Whereas like within a game it’s automatic now you turn and
you do the right thing, as in life now I’m going to be quicker to make those
right decisions.

David Frank