The Cardinal volleyball team concluded its season Thursday, Dec. 5, after a loss to Lewis University in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Quarterfinal.
The Cardinals entered the tournament as the eighth seeded team in the tournament, as Lewis was seeded first. Lewis is currently ranked 14th in the nation in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association coaches’ poll.
The Cardinals started the match slow, as Lewis scored six of the first seven points during the first set. The struggles would continue for the Cardinals, as the team would be limited to just 13 points in the opening set.
At the beginning of the second set, the Cardinals were able to score five early points and maintain a lead through the halfway point of the set. Following a six-point rally by Lewis, the Cardinals found themselves tied with the Flyers, 14-14. The Flyers were able to keep the momentum going, finishing the set with an 11-5 score differential. The second set ended with a score of 25-19 in favor of Lewis.
The third set of the night would prove to be just as tough for the Cardinals, as Lewis took an early 10-4 lead that the Cardinals would be unable to overcome. The energy of the strong Lewis offense would prove to be too much for the Cardinals to handle, as they would eventually drop the set to the Flyers, 25-17.
The three-set sweep would knock the Cardinals out of the regional tournament, effectively ending its season.
The game was the last for many seniors on the team – Olivia Dean, Raegan Moffit, Sarah Tabit, Hannah Tabit and Abbie Toland. The Cardinals will remain deep in talent next year however, as nearly half of the Cardinals lineup will be back next year.
“I’m really proud of what we accomplished this season,” Dean said. “We reached a lot of our goals. We showed a lot of grit and had to overcome quite a bit of adversity. We made it the best season we could.”
Although the Cardinals season has concluded after the loss to Lewis, the team contended well all season long.
The Cardinals won a total of 20 games this season, with a conference record of 12-4.