by Tim Miller
The No. 4-seeded Cedarville Lady Jackets (13-18, 11-9 G-MAC) volleyball team suffered a loss to the No. 1-seeded Walsh Cavaliers in the opening round of the G-MAC Tournament on Tuesday night in four sets. The loss ends the Lady Jackets’ season, its first with head coach Greg Smith at the helm.
The final tally was 25-21, 25-11, 20-25, and 25-19.
Cedarville closes its season under .500 for the first time since 2010. The Lady Jackets gained momentum to close the season, winning five matches in a row before falling to Walsh.
The Lady Jackets say goodbye to two seniors. Outside hitter Taylor Wilkerson finished her Cedarville career with 1,025 kills. A change in systems led Wilkerson to a new role, but she handled it well, finishing with 334 digs, which was more than she had in her first three seasons combined.
Senior outside hitter Faith Ferris saw more playing time this season than in any other. Ferris reach career-highs in kills (150) and points (195) and totaled 82 total blocks in 2018.
Freshman outside hitter Sara Beste emerged as a future leader for Cedarville this season, as she saw her playing time increase as the season went on. The homegrown product had 13 kills against Ohio Dominican this season, which stood as her season-best.
Among other key returners for 2019 are sophomores Sierra Schuitema (889 assists in 31 matches) and Autumn Foust (463 digs in 31 matches).
The Lady Jackets will likely take the offseason to continue to get acclimated to Smith’s new system. With plenty of returning production from this season, Cedarville should be able to compete at the top of the G-MAC West next season.
*All stats are as of Nov. 5, as game stats were not made available.
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.