by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets (5-12, 4-6 G-MAC) were disposed of by the Hillsdale Chargers in just three sets on Friday night. The Lady Jackets had picked up momentum, winning each of their last three matches before getting handled by their G-MAC West foe.
Cedarville was mightly outplayed in the first set but didn’t give Hillsdale much wiggle room in the final two sets. The Lady Jackets lost 25-8, 25-23, and 25-19.
Senior outside hitter Faith Ferris led the Lady Jackets in kills with nine. Senior outside hitter Taylor Wilkerson continued to be a double-edged sword, tallying eight kills and 12 digs. Sophomore setter Sierra Schuitema gave away 24 assists and traveled the court in tireless fashion. Sophomore libero Autumn Foust dug 21 balls, which was her third most of the season.
The first set wasn’t separated by more than a point until Hillsdale took three points from the Lady Jackets to go up 9-5. Cedarville called a timeout following inconsistent play that started the set.
The timeout didn’t halt the Chargers’ run, as Hillsdale scored the next four points to go up 13-5. Consequently, Cedarville burned its last timeout and continued to look unorganized.
The Lady Jackets couldn’t muster any momentum as the set waned and lost 25-8. Cedarville produced just four kills and a -.267 attack percentage in the first.
Hillsdale managed multiple three and four point margins to start the second set, but Cedarville proved stingy to keep the set tight, contrary to the first. The Lady Jackets won an exhausting volley which led Hillsdale to call a timeout with a 13-10 advantage.
Cedarville continued to fight and pulled the game within one after sophomore middle hitter Lauren Willow buried a kill to make the score 17-16. The Lady Jackets piled on more points and tied the set at 18 after a kill by junior outside hitter Erin McCullough. Hillsdale emptied their allotted timeouts after the play, and Callan exploded with energy.
On the next play, Cedarville took its first meaningful lead of the match to go up 19-18. They extended it to 20-18 before dropping the next two points. With the set tied at 20, the Lady Jackets called a crucial timeout in an attempt to take over an emotional second set.
Hillsdale rallied late to go up 20-18 and slipped away with a second set victory, 25-23. The loss was a huge blow for the Lady Jackets, but it proved Cedarville could compete after an abysmal first set. Ferris had five kills and Schuitema contributed 14 assists.
The Lady Jackets leaped to a 5-0 lead in the third set, and Cedarville seemed to have finally figured out how to slow down Hillsdale’s dominant hitters.
Hillsdale stormed back and tied the set at 10, however, prompting Cedarville to call a timeout. The teams traded points thereafter, as the set was kept within one until Hillsdale took an 18-16 lead. The Chargers owned two of the next three points and went up 20-17, and Cedarville took its last timeout as the Lady Jackets looked to stay alive and avoid a sweep.
Hillsdale’s powerful front line emerged yet again as the Chargers’ bread and butter and took the set 25-19 to sweep Cedarville. Wilkerson had three kills and six digs in the third, while Ferris had three more digs.
After the game, Ferris led the team in what seemed to be spirited conversation by the bench. No players were made available for comment after the game.
The Lady Jackets get less than 24 hours of rest before they take on the surging Findlay Oilers. The G-MAC West foe has won 11 of its last 12 games.
Tim Miller is a junior marketing major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys having a baby face, knowing too much about supplemental insurance, and striving to be the optimal combination of Dwight Schrute and Ron Swanson.