by Abigail Hintz
Lady Jackets volleyball took down G-MAC defensive rivals the Ursuline College Arrows 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20) on Saturday afternoon for their third straight win. The Jackets now move to 5-6 in the conference and 8-10 overall and are in a great spot after their two weekend wins to make the postseason tournament.
The Jackets were led by senior outside hitter Liene Miller and junior outside hitter Riley Hensley with 20 kills apiece. Hensley showed an impressive 20 kills on 44 attempts – a .273 hitting percentage. Senior middle hitter Lauren Willow had 12 kills.
“In the sense of last night to tonight, way better focus, way better intensity level,” said head coach Greg Smith. “I was very pleased with how we played especially after the first set. We settled in and got in our groove.”
The two teams were evenly matched in records, both coming in 4-6 in the conference, Ursuline 8-14 overall and Cedarville 7-10.
The Jackets went down 10-6 early, due entirely to unforced errors. Coming out of a timeout the Jackets were able to go on their first run of the game and close the gap to just one point, but were still unable to take the lead.
The game was back and forth from then on and finally they caught Ursuline in a funk and were able to take the lead at 18-17. Urusline was the first to 20, however, and had the momentum to finish out the set 25-21. Willow led with four kills and Hensley contributed three.
Ursuline was making too many errors of their own early in the second set and the Jackets went up 5-2 to start out. They kept the lead by a small margin for the majority of the set which was the confidence boost they needed to go on a big run and go up 16-11, forcing an Arrows timeout.
It was all Cedarville for the rest of the set who took it 25-20 despite a quick Ursuline run towards the end. Willow continued to dominate with several big swings from the middle to hype up her team for a total of eight.
The third was another slow start for the Jackets but they picked it up quick. Their momentum was unstoppable when Miller made two huge back-to-back offensive plays.
The Arrows figured their side out, however, and pushed to tie it up at 14. It seemed to be Ursuline’s set but Miller led the way as the Jackets pulled back and took the third 25-23. Miller more than doubled her kill count, going up to 16 by the end of the third.
Ursuline came into the fourth flustered and Cedarville went up 6-2 quickly. They went up to a big 11-6 margin to force an Arrows timeout. Miller and Hensley continued to lead the charge as the Jackets rounded out their big win.
The fourth set’s scoreline of 25-20 did not reflect how in control Cedarville felt to finish it up.
The Jackets have a week of travel, heading to Trevecca and Kentucky Wesleyan next weekend before coming back home Friday, Nov. 5 for a 7 p.m. white-out match.
Abigail Hintz is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-chief and Sports Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.