Volleyball’s home-court advantage fell short for the first time in 10 games when Sam Houston State defeated ACU 3-1 in the team’s Southland Conference opener.
The Wildcats stormed out of the gate in the Saturday match-up, taking game one fairly convincingly 25-18. Trailing 24-16, the Bearkats cut the lead to 24-18 on consecutive kills by Brooke White. But an error by SHSU clinched the first set victory for ACU and Moody Magic looked to be in full effect.
“The biggest thing is we didn’t execute when we had the serve, and then we didn’t win the points where the little details mattered,” said head coach Angela Mooney. “We got caught off balance, we got caught not getting back into our base on defense.”
However, the Bearkats stormed back in game two. The Wildcats took a 4-1 lead early on a kill from junior Jacey Smith and an attack error from SHSU. Errors plagued both teams throughout the contest, as ACU finished with 26 and SHSU with 27.
But the Wildcats would find little success after that. The Bearkats rattled off scoring runs of 7-0 and 5-0 to take control at 13-5 and ultimately game two 25-18.
From there on out the momentum remained in the favor of SHSU. The Bearkats took the third set 25-21, despite late kills by Smith and junior Lauren Walker to cut the lead to three. Walker also led the team with seven blocks.
In the final set, the score would again finish at 25-18, in favor of Sam Houston, pushing the Bearkats to 1-0 in conference play, while the Wildcats fall to 0-1 and 4-9 on the season.
“I think they played a good match,” Mooney said. “We out-blocked them, we had a pretty good high hitting percentage for our group, it just came down to little details here and there that maybe don’t show up in the stat sheet and it made it tough for us to win.”
Senior Corinne Grandcolas and freshman Katelyn Mueller led the Wildcats offensively, finishing with 11 and 10 kills respectively. Junior Kendall Bosse also record 31 assists in the loss.
This is the first time in three seasons ACU has lost to SHSU. The Wildcats will look to bounce back Tuesday night when they take on McNeese State in the second game of their conference-opening four-game home stand. Even with the loss, ACU is still an impressive 15-3 at home since 2015.