by Abigail Hintz
The Cedarville volleyball team wasn’t satisfied after a winning weekend away and snagged its first home win in their match against Davis & Elkins on Tuesday night. Cedarville’s disciplined play stifled the Senators, as they dropped all three sets with scores of 25-14, 25-15, and 25-23.
The Jackets are now 4-5 in the G-MAC, and extended their winning streak to three with the sweep. The teams both came in at fifth place on their respective sides of the conference, but Tuesday’s match sent the Senators down a place while the Jackets stay put.
Cedarville seemed very comfortable in their play throughout the match, though the scoreboard didn’t reflect that until later in the first set. A tip by setter Sierra Schuitema doubled her team’s lead early on, making it 12-6. Tipping was a theme throughout the match, and Schuitema said this was something they’ve been working on.
“Something that coach has really been encouraging us to do is kind of broaden our horizon. So mixing in shots a little bit and just kind of keeping people honest and on their toes,” Schuitema said.
This was a very effective approach for the Jackets. They weren’t truly threatened by the Senators for the rest of the set, winning 25-14.
The second set followed the same pattern, with the Jackets pulling away later in the set. The ladies kept the Senators at nine and flew away on an eight point run all their own, rarely relying on Davis & Elkins’ mistakes. The run ended with a net violation by the Jackets at 19-10, but the set was still theirs, ending 25-15.
Set three seemed to be no different than the rest of the match until about halfway through when Davis & Elkins got a spurt of momentum. Bench and court players alike were very loud and rowdy, drowning out the Cedarville side. They went on a four-point run followed by a six-point run, overtaking the Jackets for their first meaningful lead of the game.
The Jackets’ hope for a sweep seemed lost when the score was 22-18 in favor of the Senators, but the ladies in blue had another plan. A service ace and another tip took part in tying the set at 23. Taylor Wilkerson completed the comeback with a massive kill to end the match 25-23.
Lauren Willow made her presence known, notching 12 kills and four blocks. Wilkerson also had another great game with 11 kills, three aces and nine digs.
Libero Autumn Foust and the rest of the defense were a major asset for their team, as was the blocking up front. Coach Greg Smith was very pleased with the defense, and the cleanliness of the game as a whole.
“Overall it was a good match. Just to get our first victory at home this year, which has been a long time coming. It’s been good,” Smith said.
Schuitema lit up when asked about this three game home stand, saying “It has felt like a breather already to be home, and we definitely want this win streak to keep going.”
The Jackets look to continue their winning streak at home this weekend. The team will be back at the Callan Athletic Center Friday at 7 p.m. for tailgate night against Hillsdale, and then Saturday at 1 p.m. for a meeting with Findlay.