On the final day of the regular season, the Wildcats found out their season wasn’t quite over, as the women were awarded the eighth and final seed in next weekend’s conference tournament on a tiebreaker.
ACU entered Thursday’s game against Incarnate Word needing just one more win, but the Cardinals were not ready to relinquish their post-season aspirations. UIW used its home-court advantage to take a commanding 2-0 lead early, after it posted a .314 hitting percentage in game one and committed just three errors in the second set compared ACU’s eight.
The Wildcats responded with a 25-20 win in the third game, but would eventually fall in the fourth set 25-22, keeping the Cardinals in the tournament hunt. Freshman Katelyn Mueller was the top offensive attacker for ACU with 15 kills, while junior Kendall Bosse had a double-double with 43 assists and 11 digs.
The loss meant ACU began Saturday’s match up against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi still needing one win or a Cardinal loss to clinch a tournament. The Cardinals took care business with a four-set win over Sam Houston State forcing a victory by the Wildcats to clinch a spot outright in the tournament.
Despite defeating the Islanders in Moody earlier in the season, the Wildcats could not get anything going Saturday against the 2016 regular-season champions. ACU fell in straight sets 25-21, 25-16 and 28-26, as TAMUCC posted an impressive .316 hitting percentage over the three games. The Wildcats nearly stole the third set after senior Corinne Grandcolas tied the match at 24 with her 14th kill of the match, but an ACU service error and a kill by Madison Green gave the Islanders the three-game sweep.
The loss meant ACU and UIW had finished the conference season tied at 7-9 and split the season series at one a piece. But the Wildcats got the nod based on a tiebreaker determined by the conference.
While the Wildcats have made history by earning a spot in next weekend’s Southland Conference Tournament, they will take on the regular season champion in Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks won the two teams only meeting in Abilene earlier in the year in four sets. The winner of the quarterfinal match will take on the winner of TAMUCC and McNeese State.