by Abigail Hintz
A disjointed Cedarville offense could not overcome a scrappy Walsh defense as the Lady Jackets fell in their season opener 3-0 to the Cavaliers. It was the first time G-MAC volleyball had been played in 427 days after their season was pushed to the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cedarville went on some late runs, though were still unable to take the lead from the dominate Cavaliers. The Lady Jackets were led by senior Liene Miller with 11 kills. Senior Lauren Willow and sophomore Riley Hensley also made impacts with seven kills and six kills, respectively. Sophomore libero Mallory Delamarter ended the night with 22 receptions and an overall solid performance with just one error.
The intensity on the court did not reflect the amount of time spent off of it. Both teams were playing with excitement as they opened their season over a year after their last one ended. Though the Cavaliers came out swinging the Jackets didn’t let them get too far out of reach early.
However, Walsh managed to go on a long run, burying the Jackets to a 25-14 first set score after a massive rally for the last point that ended in favor of the Cavaliers. Cedarville couldn’t get their offense rolling enough to keep up with what Walsh was throwing back at them.
Coming into the second head coach Greg Smith put in some new faces for his team, adding some fresh energy. It seemed to work for the Jackets as they began to force the Cavaliers to make some much tougher saves. The Jackets also made far less unforced errors early in the second set, but a four point run by the Cavaliers seemed almost detrimental. The Jackets couldn’t get within three after that, until late in the set when they forced their way back to get within one at 21-20. The run was too little too late, however, and the Jackets fell 25-21.
Miller was able to get some action in the second set, contributing six kills compared to just one in the first.
Cedarville felt disjointed in the third set, going down 11-5 before the first timeout. They couldn’t set a rhythm and Walsh took advantage. They once again went on a late run, tying at 23 before Walsh took it 25-23. Miller contributed another five kills, but it proved to be not enough.
Cedarville now looks to Friday night when they welcome Malone University to Callan at 7 p.m.
Abigail Hintz is a junior Journalism major and the Sports and Digital Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.