Last Friday, the women’s volleyball team took down Johnson and Wales University to win the final game of the regular season. The team’s three seniors, right side hitter Keli Sherwood, setter Rebecca Watson, and outside hitter Abbe Holtze, were all honored by the school before their final regular season game as Tigers. CC took down Johnson and Wales in three consecutive sets, 25-17, 25-13, 25-15.
Friday’s game proved to be the seniors’ moment not only before the game, but during it as well. Holtze led the team with seven kills and 12 digs, and Watson posted a team-high 26 assists and had two aces. Sherwood contributed five kills on a .500 hitting percentage, all while staying out of the error column of the box score.
CC controlled play throughout the entire match, at many points dominating the Wildcats throughout the three sets they played.
“The Johnson and Wales Match was a great game. It gave us the opportunity to work on a few things that will help us in the playoffs,” said Head Coach Rick Swan. “We played a very solid, consistent game and minimized our unforced errors.”
Friday’s win brought the Tigers’ record to an impressive 25-4 on the season, and they finished 16-1 at home. They’ll play their first playoff game today in Louisiana to kick off their Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship bid.
“We are excited about the playoffs and feel we are in a strong position to make a deep run starting this weekend with the conference championships,” Swan said. Last year, CC finished third in the SCAC championship playoffs. Southwestern University captured the title last year, and should be a tough task for the Tigers should the two teams meet during the tournament. Trinity University, whom the Tigers lost two games to this season, is the number one seed for the tournament, while Southwestern and CC are the second and third seeds, respectively.
In order for CC to make a deep run in these playoffs they obviously have to work together as a team, but they’ll still look to certain players in big moments. The SCAC recently honored four Tigers for their impressive play this season. Holtze was named SCAC Player of the Year, and first-year middle hitter Marguerite Spaethling was named Freshman of the Year, the fifth consecutive CC first-year to receive the honor. Both players also received first-team honors. Junior middle hitter Glenna Yancey and first-year setter Lizzy Counts were also recognized with second-team honors.
“It was a great honor to see four of our players honored by the conference, especially Abbe Holtze receiving the conference player of the year and Margo receiving Freshman of the Year,” Swan said. “I expect all of them to be big contributors throughout the playoffs.”
Holtze leads the team with 364 kills, and is second in the SCAC with 3.60 kills per set. She also occupies a spot in the top five players on the team for numerous other statistics, including digs, blocks, and service aces. She was honored as the SCAC Player of the Year two years ago, and has also been recognized as Player of the Week three times this season. Holtze was also Freshman of the Year in 2013.
Although individual rewards are satisfying and reflect hard work put in by talented players, at the end of the day volleyball is still a team sport. This year’s team looks to make a deep push into the SCAC playoffs this weekend. The Tigers will face Texas Lutheran University in the first round. CC got the best of the Bulldogs twice during the regular season, beating them 3-1 and 3-0. The Tigers hope to add one more win this afternoon.