Smith, Boss shine on senior night

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Smith, Boss shine on senior night

Story by Sara

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Behind the benches of the Baker University volleyball team and Benedictine College hung signs honoring the Wildcats’ seniors Savannah Smith and Jana Boss Tuesday in Collins Center.

One of the signs said, “we love our seniors,” and the admiration continued during the match as the pair led the Wildcats to a 3-1 victory over Benedictine on senior night and the team’s regular-season finale.

Smith, who has 973 career kills, struck again during the match collecting a double-double with 12 kills and 21 digs.

As the one of the most respected setters in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, Boss is a double threat at the net offensively. During any match, she can dish up 30 assists and add nine kills as she did against the Ravens.

With the efforts of Smith and Boss, the Wildcats were able to bounce back from a first-set loss to take control of the rest of the match.

In the opening set, both teams struggled to hold on to a lead but at the midway point, Benedictine had control at 12-7. However, the Wildcats went on a 6-1 run to tie the set at 13-13.

Benedictine’s unforced errors, a kill by freshman Shannon Bond and a block by junior Crystal Simon helped the Wildcats grab a 21-19 advantage late in the set. But the Ravens’ four kills and two blocks in the last 11 plays allowed them to take the opener 25-23.

After a few minutes in between sets, the Wildcats came out of the huddle with a new momentum.

Behind the serve of Bond, who had two aces during the run, Baker jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Junior Renata Dill recorded a pair of back-to-back aces during the set as well to extend the lead, but the Wildcats’ longest run of the match came from behind the serve of Boss.

The Wildcats rattled off eight straight points, powered by two kills from Simon and a pair from junior Jasmyn Turner. Benedictine could not recover from the run and fell 25-11.

The third set was similar to the first as neither team would allow the other to capture a lead of more than three points, and by the halfway point Baker lead 13-12.

Baker would eventually grab a 22-20 advantage late in the set, but Benedictine record two-straight kills and an ace to take the lead at 23-22. However, a net error and kills by Simon and Turner helped the Wildcats take the third set 25-23.

In the fourth set, the teams continued to struggle building a substantial lead as they remained locked at 16-16. However, a late 5-1 run was all the Wildcats needed as they took down Benedictine 25-19.

The team ended its regular season schedule with an 18-13 overall record and went 6-3 in conference play. With the win Tuesday, the Wildcats clinched the No. 4 seed in the HAAC Tournament and will host Avila University in the opening round at 7 p.m. Saturday in Collins Center.