Cedarville’s volleyball team won the G-MAC semifinal match on Friday night, defeating Kentucky Wesleyan in straight sets. This marks the third time this season that the Jackets have defeated the Panthers.
Cedarville opened the match with a lot of energy. The Jackets never trailed in either of the first two sets, winning them 25-20 and 25-21.
The Jackets’ last match was Nov. 4, when they were defeated in three sets by Findlay. Coach Walters admitted that this arrangement was less than optimal.
“I do not like 10 days off, but that’s just the way the schedule worked out for us this year,” Walters said. “There was a little bit of a concern because we saw Kentucky Wesleyan play last night against Trevecca and they played phenomenally. We’ve had a great week of practice, which has been nice. We gave them three days off over the weekend to clear their minds and rest. I think that helped, too. We came out with high energy.”
Senior Amanda Bell said she and her teammates were eager to play after having an extended break.
“We haven’t played in a while so this one was big for us,” she said. “We’ve been preparing for it for 10 days and we had a weekend off last weekend, so we were refreshed and ready to go.”
Cedarville trailed by as many as seven at the beginning of the third set, but at 21-23, they scored the final four points to win the set 25-23
“I like the fight in the team,” Walters said. “They love getting up for big matches, and having a nice, big crowd always helps. Even in that third set when they got down they kept fighting, then they came back close, then lost it again, then came back and won it in the end. That just shows their resolve and desire to win this championship.”
Bell said the resolve to battle back from behind is something that they’ve been building for a long time.
“Honestly, it’s something we’ve been working on for four years as seniors,” she said. “It just takes a lot of positive attitudes and forgetting mistakes.”
Bell finished the night with nine kills, but Abby Shelton led the team with 12.
“It was a great win just because we played together and as a unit,” Shelton said. “It was really meaningful to be able to play like that for our seniors. It was just fun to be in an environment with a lot of people that really love and support us.”
Tomorrow Cedarville hosts Ohio Valley in the G-MAC Championship at 1 p.m. With a win, Jackets would clinch their third consecutive conference championship. The Jackets defeated Ohio Valley on Oct. 18 in straight sets (25-18, 25-10, 25-19).
Walters said he expects Ohio Valley to be pumped up.
“We had a little bit of a tougher match than they did,” Walters said. “They actually took care of Ursuline pretty easily, so they might get a little more rest than we did. But our girls will be motivated. We’re here at home in front of our fans, and they’ll be pumped up and ready to go. I know beforehand they were wanting to play Ohio Valley, so it should be fun.”
Bell said the team was anticipating the championship game.
“Three of us are seniors and it’s our last game,” she said, “so we’re just ready to kill it.”
Paul McMichael is a senior preseminary Bible major and a sports reporter for Cedars.