by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets didn’t lose a set in their final regular season game of the year, beating the Trevecca Trojans 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. Cedarville will enter the postseason riding a five-game winning streak, its best mark all season.
The Lady Jackets took care of the Trojans with ease in the first two sets before taking the third in tighter fashion, winning 25-21, 25-19, and 25-22.
“I thought today we played really consistent,” head coach Greg Smith said. “We did a good job of making adjustments on the fly and I just felt like this was probably the best match we’ve ever done at it.”
Senior outside hitter Taylor Wilkerson closed her career at Callan by leading the team in kills (13) and digs (15). The Brookfield, Wisconsin native said the team has gotten hot recently thanks to its attention to minor aspects of the game.
“We went out with a lot of energy,” Wilkerson said. “We’ve focused on small, little details in our game that have really impacted the way we play. Our discipline in our defense and our service passing increased and has had a huge impact.”
Freshman outside hitter Sara Beste continued her successful first year with nine kills and seven digs. Sophomore setter Sierra Schuitema recorded 35 assists and was successful on all three of her kill attempts.
Cedarville took the first three-point lead of the game at 9-6 in the first set, but Trevecca stormed back for five points in a row to take an 11-9 advantage. After the Trojans buried a kill, the Lady Jackets called a timeout to stop the run.
Out of the timeout, Cedarville came back with five points of their own to take a 14-11 lead.
The Lady Jackets continued to push and owned a 17-14 lead, but Trevecca came back with five points to take a 19-17 lead.
Cedarville roared back to win five of the next six points after burning its last timeout to take a 22-20 lead. The resurgence by the Lady Jackets forced Trevecca to call a timeout.
Cedarville’s swing was enough to close the first set, winning 25-21. Beste and senior outside hitter Faith Ferris led the Lady Jackets with four kills. Schuitema recorded 12 assists in the set.
The Lady Jackets burst to a 9-3 lead in the second set which prompted Trevecca to call a timeout. Ferris led the way with two kills during the run.
Cedarville cushioned its lead as the set went on and took an 18-10 margin after taking three consecutive points. The Trojans burned their final timeout of the set after the run.
Smith was able to filter in more reserves to close the set as the Lady Jackets won 25-19. Beste had four more kills to push her total to eight, while Wilkerson also had four kills in the set to notch six at that point. Schuitema again had 12 assists to match her total from the first set.
The Trojans came out of the third set with more energy than they displayed in the first two sets and led for most of the first half of the set. Cedarville called a timeout after tying it but falling back behind 10-7.
Out of the timeout, the Lady Jackets scored four points in a row to take back the lead at 11-10.
The set wasn’t separated by more than two points until Schuitema tipped a ball over the net to give Cedarville a 22-20 lead. Trevecca called a timeout and the game looked as though it may slip away.
The Trojans won the next two points to tie the set, but the Lady Jackets won the next two to take a 24-22 lead. One point away from getting swept, Trevecca called its final timeout.
The teams were locked into a long volley, but the Lady Jackets won the point to take the set and finish off Trevecca, 25-22.
“Third set, Trevecca played well and they’re a tough team,” Smith said. “Our girls did a great job of competing against them.”
Wilkerson said that while the season isn’t over yet, she’s thankful for the four years she’s had at Cedarville.
“The highlight is the teammates that are around me and the coaches,” Wilkerson said. “It’s incredible and you don’t get it anywhere else.”
The Lady Jackets rest until Tuesday for their opening round matchup in the G-MAC Tournament. Cedarville clinched a spot to be one of four representatives from the West Division earlier this week.
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 perfect the optimal combination of Dwight Schrute and Ron Swanson.