By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The Wildcats extended its winning streak to four matches this weekend with wins over Texas Women’s and over St. Edwards in a five-set thriller.
The Wildcats (7-4) lost to St. Edwards in both meetings last season, including a three set loss in Moody Coliseum. With both teams returning most of its players from last season, a win over St. Edwards was even more special, said sophomore Nicole Killebrew.
“They killed us last year, but we really played awesome on Saturday,” Killebrew said. “We pretty much returned all the same starters so this win was huge.”
Killebrew said maturity played the biggest role comparing this year and last year.
“We are better prepared mentally this year,” she said. “I know last year I was pretty anxious before games, but this year the nerves are gone and I feel a lot more headstrong.”
Assistant coach Nora Oglesby said the team always had the game down physically but has now improved mentally.
“The mental game in volleyball, like most other sports, is so important,” Oglesby said. “We have been focusing on staying mentally tough in practice and it has really translated during the games.”
Sophomore Ashlee Motola said St. Edwards is considered a rival team.
“We don’t like each other much, so beating them was awesome,” Motola said.
Freshman Rachel Talley said the team has been playing consistently and that has translated to the winning streak.
“We have been practicing consistently and it has really helped us be consistent in the games,” Talley said.
Sophomore Michelle Bernhardt had 24 kills, while senior Haylee Hartline had 19 kills in the win over St. Edward’s. Sophomore Amanda Slate had 11 kills, while junior Sophia Kindred added 10. Sophomore setter Lindsey Martin had 59 assists and 13 digs to lead ACU to the victory over St. Edwards.
The ACU women will take its show on the road to play in the Texas A&M Commerce tournament this weekend. ACU will play Harding, Southern Arkansas, Henderson State and Central Arkansas.