In their final regular season home game Wednesday night, the Cedarville women’s volleyball team cruised to an easy victory over Central State. It didn’t take long for the Jackets to defeat the Marauders, winning in three sets (25-4, 25-7, 25-2).
Central State has not won a match this season, and in their 14 losses they haven’t won a single set. The win moves the Jackets to 17-12 (8-1) on the season.
Because of the dominating win, Emily Gewirtz and Katie Sir, both freshmen, saw more playing time than usual. Gewirtz finished the night with eight service aces.
“This season has definitely been a learning experience,” Gewirtz said. “I came from a smaller Christian high school, and it’s definitely a different level of competition here. And I love the team, so there’s lots of bonding there, too.”
The coaches and teammates said they were excited about the development of the freshmen.
“The big thing for us with them this year was getting a year under their belt, working them hard in practice, and we’re going to be spending a lot of time with them in the spring working on individual skills,” said head coach Doug Walters. “They’re going to do some nice things for us down the road. But we knew coming in that this would be a year to kind of get their feet wet because they haven’t played at quite the level that some of our girls have.”
Sophomore Abby Shelton said that although freshmen may not have gotten much playing time this season, they still had a big impact on the team.
“They’re just huge encouragements in everything that they do,” she said. “In practice we definitely make each other better. For the last hour of every practice we compete against each other, and it’s just constant competition. So, really, they are just as important as everyone else on the team.”
The Jackets’ next match is Friday night on the road against Ursuline (15-6 (6-2)). If the Jackets win Friday night, they clinch the right to host the conference tournament from November 13-15. If they lose, they would need Ursuline to lose one of their final two G-MAC matches.
“We’d rather just control our own destiny and get the win,” Walters said. “Ursuline is having a great year this year. We started looking at the video of them today, breaking them down and trying to see the things that we need to do well, and we’ll work on that in practice tomorrow.”
Junior Tori Thompson stressed the importance of winning the G-MAC.
“It’s really important to set that standard for next year as the leaders of the conference, and hopefully we can maintain that,” she said. “This would just be another year that we don’t get to host it because we didn’t last year even though we won.”
Shelton said she would rather play at home during the playoffs. “I think that being able to host here would be nice,” she said, “because we are used to this gym and we definitely get to have a lot more fans than if we were anywhere else.”
Paul McMichael is a senior preseminary Bible major and a sports reporter for Cedars.