It was the four seniors paving the way for the volleyball team Saturday as Central Michigan swept South Florida to conclude the 2012-13 season.
Outside hitters Lindsey Dulude and Val DeWeerd, along with right-side hitter Jocelyn VerVelde all had double-digit kills, while defensive specialist Samantha Brawley recorded seven digs.
“I thought the seniors really showed the way,” head coach Erik Olson said. “They just played. Normally, we review the scouting report a second time, and, tonight, I told them, ‘the scouting report is just play’.”
Olson said he thought it was one the team’s best matches of the season, and the offense and defense was the ‘crispest and most efficient it has been all season.’
Junior setter Kelly Maxwell recorded 37 assists, ending the season with 11.63 assists per set, good for No. 5 in single-season school history.
“She was feeling the game really well and was fantastic,” Olson said. “Kelly also had two nice blocks, and they were high-flying, so some really good stuff from her.”
Prior to the win Saturday, CMU felt the opposite end of the sweep.
In a match Friday against the University of Central Florida, the Chippewas lost 25-21 in all three sets.
“When teams come down to Florida, you kind of catch them on vacation a little bit, and I thought we did a good job of separating the two, but apparently not,” Olson said. “Even the practice was one of the worst I’ve seen all year long.”
Despite the poor performance on Friday, CMU bounced back and sent the seniors off on a win.
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Dulude said. “This was a great group of girls, and there is no better way to end my career than sweeping a very good team.”
For Dulude, DeWeerd and Brawley, coming down on Thanksgiving for their final match was the perfect way to wrap up their careers, because it was in Florida at the Florida State Invitational where it all began.
“Spending Thanksgiving with the team is nice because they’re my second family and it’s always nice to spend the holiday with each other,” Dulude said. “It all came full-circle and (was) a great way to end my career.”