by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets (6-9, 4-1 G-MAC) disposed of the Urbana Blue Knights on Tuesday night via a sweep, giving the Lady Jackets their third straight win.
The Lady Jackets commanded the match, winning 26-24, 25-18 and 25-20. The Lady Jackets haven’t dropped a set since their home opener, winning nine straight sets. Cedarville head coach Doug Walters said the team is meshing at the right time for the home crowd.
“Playing at home is always a good thing,” Walters said. “The pieces that we’ve been trying to put together all season are coming together nicely.”
Senior outside hitter Krissy Pratt led Cedarville in kills and points, chalking up 11 and 13, respectively. Junior outside hitter Taylor Wilkerson chipped in 10 kills and freshman middle hitter Lauren Willow contributed eight kills and seven blocks.
Neither team was able to hold the other off in the first set. Urbana jumped out to an 11-6 lead thanks to a kill on an exhausting effort from each side. The loss of a point for Cedarville didn’t deflate the Yellow Jackets, as they went on an 8-3 run after the point.
The run tied the game at 14, and Urbana called a timeout.
After the timeout, neither team led by more than two points. Tied at 17, the Lady Jackets scored four unanswered to take a 21-17 lead. The run led to another Blue Knights timeout.
Urbana came out of the timeout with fury with a 6-2 run. The Lady Jackets’ lead was cut to one, and they called a timeout with a 23-22 advantage.
The Blue Knights were able to knot the game at 24 and looked to have enough momentum to take the opening set. A Pratt kill flattened Urbana, and Cedarville went on to win the set 26-24.
The second set featured less runs but a tighter period of play. The Lady Jackets took a 12-8 lead, but Urbana scored four straight points to tie. This forced a timeout from the Lady Jackets, which paved way to a small run for Cedarville.
Cedarville looked to open up the game again, and a service ace from Lindsey Bray allowed the Lady Jackets to lead 16-13.
From there, Cedarville glided to win the set. Strong play from Cedarville’s front line gave the Lady Jackets a 23-17 lead. Urbana called a timeout, but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Lady Jackets took the second set 25-18.
Cedarville led for most of the third set and looked to put the game away after taking a 17-12 lead. Urbana was able to chip away and tighten the game to 22-20, but the Lady Jackets persevered to close the set.
Cedarville took a timeout after its margin was cut to two points, and it was enough to will the Lady Jackets to victory. Brooke Blattner and Lauren Willow ended the Blue Knights’ chances of winning by returning a ball back to Urbana’s side, giving Cedarville a third set win of 25-20.
The Lady Jackets are off until Friday night when they play a conference rival in the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans at 7 p.m. The home team won each game in sweeping fashion in the two meetings last season.
Tim Miller is a sophomore marketing major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys having a baby face, sipping Dunkin Donuts coffee and striving to be the optimal combination of Dwight Schrute and Ron Swanson.