The ACU volleyball team will play in its second tournament of the season this Saturday in San Marcos for Texas State’s Delta Zeta Classic. The Wildcats will take on University of North Texas at 9:30 a.m. and host Texas State at 2 p.m. later that afternoon. Both games can be viewed online through acusports.com.
ACU is looking to bounce back from losing its first four games, all four of which were lost in three matches.
“We need to focus on being mentally tough in high-pressure situations,” said junior outside hitter Jennie Loerch. “We have the skills, we just need to work on our mental game.”
Though the 2014 season has just begun, the Wildcats have already played four tough opponents in Baylor University, University of Portland, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and the University of Texas Arlington. The tough schedule has set the ladies up for a slow start.
“We’re not staying mentally tough,” said sophomore defensive specialist Emily Atkins. “Our energy level is low when things go wrong.”
The team will play two more tournaments and will make a trip to Fort Worth to play Texas Christian University before it begins conference play on Sept. 25. The strategy going into this weekend’s double-header will be all about the mental aspect of the game.
North Texas (3-1) and Texas State (2-1) will be formidable matches for the Wildcats as both teams are off to a solid start. Collectively, North Texas and Texas State have defeated University of Houston, Lamar University, Northwestern State, Mississippi Valley State, and Stephen F. Austin State University early in the season.
Despite ACU’s rocky start, Loerch has been playing exceptionally well. She has been a key player for the Wildcats with a .182 hitting percentage while averaging 11 kills per game. She was named to the Hampton Inn Waco North Baylor Invitational All-Tournament Team last weekend. At her side for the Wildcat offense are the freshman outside hitters, Stephanie Schoelman (.067) and Taylor Nix (.058), who have contributed as well.