The Cards had a good week on the court, knocking off Summit Country Day in 4 sets last night and sweeping Hamilton on Thursday. With a record of 12-5, the team has the best record for women’s volleyball in many years, and there 3 more league games to play plus the playoffs.
“Beating Summit is a good win. They’ve handled us pretty easily the last few years, so we can feel good about knocking them off,” says head coach Lindsey Dinkelacker. The Cards jumped out to a 2 set lead. The frontline was strong with kills galore and solid blocking. Reigning GMC player of the week, Kiley McNally, led the way with some thunderous outside hits. The third set was a little shaky and resulted in a 23-25 loss. Fortunately, the Cards dispelled any notion of a 5th set materializing with a 25-10 convincing win in the fourth set. “We’re disappointed that we didn’t win in 3 sets, but we definitely ended the game on a positive note,” said sophomore OH Kate White.
The recent wins followed a streak of excruciatingly close 5 set losses to Oak Hills, West and East. The Oak Hills and West games went to extra points in the 5th sets, which is the volleyball equivalent of losing in 3 overtimes. The West game, in particular, reminded many fans of the Bengals loss to the Steelers in the 2015 playoffs – so very close but unable to pull it off. While the tough losses are clear signs of the progress of the program, they are no consolation to the players and coaches. “We’re way past the point of moral victories. We expect to win, even against the traditional powerhouses of the GMC,” says senior Ana Lu Gehner.
It’s also been a season of individual accolades and accomplishments. The power twins – Abbey and Kiley McNally – both have been named GMC players of the week. Both are in the top 5 in the GMC for kills. Taiah Pewett and Ana Lu Gehner are in the top 10 for serving aces in the GMC. Sophomore setter Grace Gehner is second in the league in assists. Still, it’s all about the team. “We can look at our individual statistics later,” said Taiah. “It’s all about winning and accomplishing our team goals now.”
Next up for the upset-minded Cardinals is Mason, currently first in the GMC. Don’t count this team out. Next week wraps up the regular season with Princeton and Northwest. Princeton is the last home game, so please check with a player to see if extra tickets are available. This team deserves a big crowd to celebrate the season and send them into the playoffs.
The JV Cards have also had a solid season with a 10-7 record. Most of the losses have been 3 set nail-biters. “We’ve had a good season and we keep getting better. It’s really coming together,” says libero Nevaeh Lawson.
Follow the team on twitter: @Colerain_VB