Going into its two home games last weekend against Tiffin on Friday, Sept. 22, and Ashland on Saturday, Sept. 23, the women’s volleyball team was working against its experience and track record.
Coach Will Stanton was looking forward to hosting the matches.
“It is always more comfortable to sleep in your own bed and do our usual routine and play in your own gym,” Stanton said.
On Friday, the Tiffin Dragons played a solid set-to-set match with the Cardinals. They fought hard, and SVSU took the first set against the Dragons. In the second set, Tiffin came back and evened it out. In set three, the Cardinal offense racked up 15 kills, which resulted in a high-scoring and victorious set for the Lady Cardinals. In the fourth set, the Dragons earned 16 kills of their own with another nine points attributed to Cardinal errors. The win for the Dragons tied the match once again at two sets to two. The fifth and final set was close, but ultimately led to Tiffin taking the win, 15-11.
In the Tiffin match, a key player for the Cards was outside hitter Sarah Tabit, who had 17 kills and eight digs. Outside hitter McKenzie Schuster also added 17 kills of her own. The Cardinals also earned its season high of 59 kills.
Team captain, sophomore middle hitter Rachel Eisenhour commented on the team’s hustle.
“That game was the hardest we have worked as a team thus far,” Eisenhour said. “We are continuing to improve each day, and even though we lost, we are learning how to play under pressure.”
The second game of the weekend against Ashland was when the Lady Cardinals truly found their stride. The second set was back-and-forth until the Lady Cardinals found their groove with Hannah Tabit’s kill against Ashland player McKinley Smith, giving the Cardinals the lead in the set, which SVSU ultimately took 25-22. In the third and final set against Ashland, the Eagles brought the score to an even 17-17, but the Cardinals dominated the rest of the set on their way to a 3-0 victory and a weekend split.
After a rocky start, the Lady Cardinals seem to be finding their groove and building their momentum for the rest of the season. The team hosts both Northwood and Ferris State next weekend.