By Abigail Hintz
The Lady Jackets volleyball team swept the Findlay University Oilers Friday night in their first home game in five weeks to extend their win streak to five games. The scores of 25-21, 25-20 and 25-17 were full of intensity and excitement from the team and their home crowd alike. The Jackets remain at the top of the G-MAC as they are unbeaten in the conference.
The team was led once again by sophomore Liene Miller who contributed 17 kills and 15 digs. Junior Lauren Willow added seven kills, while freshman Riley Hansley put down six. Sophomore Emily Ward had 12 digs and three service aces.
Cedarville created a lot of unforced errors to start the match, putting them in a 1-5 hole early. Smith called a timeout and provided Cedarville some momentum when Miller got her second kill of the night coming out of the timeout. The Jackets went on a few short runs, but couldn’t catch the Oilers, only coming within one point one time in the first set.
A massive block made up of both Willow sisters gave the team some serious momentum, and brought them within one for the second time at 20-21. After a Findlay error, the Jackets finally tied the Oilers at 21. Findlay called a timeout, but the Jackets took the first point out of it thanks to another kill from Miller. They brought fans to their feet going on a six-point run to take the first set 25-21. Miller led the set with five kills, followed by both Willow sisters and Hensley who all had two kills a piece.
“We had a little bit of a slow start, so it was good to just stay with it, stay patient in the game and just eventually get into our groove,” said Lauren, who celebrated her birthday with the win.
“The first part of the first set was a little bit shaky,” admitted Smith. “But we just stayed steady and that was the biggest thing is that we were learning about the team.”
The Jackets were able to take the lead much earlier in the second set, going up 3-2 early. Findlay couldn’t settle back into the rhythm they had early in the match, letting Cedarville keep the lead for the entire set. The Oilers couldn’t get any momentum as the Jackets had completely found their weaknesses and were exploiting them with every point. The set was an outright switch from the first set, as it was totally dominated by the Jackets, ending 25-20 with no real danger from the Oiler side. Miller continued her impressive game with four more kills. Lauren contributed three more kills and Hensley added two.
Findlay was lacking energy and motivation it seemed as Cedarville continued the sweep in the third set, taking the lead and keeping it from the start. It mimicked the first set, with the roles reversed in the Jacket’s favor. Findlay went on short runs but could never catch up to Cedarville. An ace from Emily Ward ended the set 25-17. Miller added eight sets to her total, leading the team in the set.
The Jackets now turn their attention to their biggest test of the season yet, Hillsdale tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Hillsdale is also unbeaten in the G-MAC, and is nationally ranked at #17.
“It’s going to be a battle with Hillsdale,” said Lauren. “They really put up a good fight and they are just a well-disciplined team. I feel pretty confident.”
Abigail Hintz is a sophomore journalism major and Digital Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.