By Joshua Parrott, Sports Writer
The ACU volleyball team dominated Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas and Tarleton State TexAnns this past weekend, earning its first two conference victories and putting itself back into the mix for the Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament.
The Wildcats knocked off the TexAnns in three straight games Saturday following Fri-day night’s victory over the Javelinas. Freshman middle blocker Amanda Slate led the Wildcats, now 9-7 overall, 2-2 in LSC South Division play, with 13 kills, while redshirt freshman setter Lindsey Martin recorded 36 assists.
Freshman middle blocker Ashlee Motola said this past weekend’s results were encouraging for a youthful Wildcat squad.
“Hopefully these two wins are just the start of a winning streak,” Motola said. “We have our confidence back and this time we are only going to get better. Our team has exceeded all expectations and to be playing so well together already is amazing to me.”
The Wildcats couldn’t have picked a better time to snap their losing streak leading into last weekend’s matches. The team had lost four of their previous five matches before defeating the Javelinas and TexAnns.
Freshman outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt said that the Wildcat’s win-loss record is somewhat deceiving.
“Our record doesn’t look too good, but the conference games are the ones that count,” Bernhardt said. “We have to protect our home and take a few games on the road and we’ll be fine.”
Now the Wildcats must prepare for their LSC Crossover matches in San Angelo this weekend, against Southeastern Oklahoma State, Central Okla-homa and Cameron.
The Wildcats played on the road Tuesday night at Angelo State but results were unavailable at press time.
Southeastern Oklahoma is coming off of a weekend split of two matches and enter this weekend at 3-10 overall, 0-4 in LSC North Division play.
Central Oklahoma, 15-2 overall, 5-0 in LSC North play, is led by two of the top players in the region: junior setter Stacey Meeks and senior outside hitter Alma Brahimaj.
Meeks leads the conference in total assists with 721, while Brahimaj is currently 13th in Division II history with 2,079 kills and has 285 kills and 210 digs this season alone.
Cameron, 8-6 overall, 3-2 in LSC North play, is led by freshman middle blocker Kelsey Kosick, who has 228 kills and 207 digs this season.
Bernhardt said the Wildcats will need to maintain focus for this weekend’s matches.
“We are taking it one game at a time,” Bernhardt said. “They are all great teams and we will have to come prepared and ready to play.”