By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The ACU volleyball team clinched second place in the Lone Star Conference South Division over the weekend after defeating Tarleton State and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
The Wildcats handled Tarleton State on Friday in three games, 30-19, 30-21 and 30-16. Senior Haylee Hartline led the Wildcats with 12 kills and sophomores Michelle Bernhardt and Amanda Slate each added 11 kills. Sophomore setter Lindsey Martin added 41 assists in the victory over Tarleton State.
On Saturday, ACU again won in three straight sets, defeating Texas A&M-Kingsville 30-19, 30-26, 30-25. Bernhardt finished with 19 kills and Hartline, who was honored in the last home game of her ACU career, added 14 kills, while Martin notched 48 assists in the victory.
ACU hit .386 against Tarleton State on Friday with 46 kills and only 12 errors on 88 total attacks. The Wildcats hit .320 against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday with 56 kills and 15 errors on 128 attacks.
ACU finished the regular season with a 25-10 overall record, including a 7-3 record in the LSC South Division. ACU and Eastern New Mexico each finished with a 7-3 record in the LSC South Division, but ACU won more overall games and because of tiebreaker rules the Wildcats enter the LSC Post-Season Conference tournament as the no. 2 seed.
ACU will play the Cameron (25-10), the no. 3 seed from the LSC North Division, on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, which is held in Canyon. The Wildcats defeated Cameron in four games on Sep. 30 in the only match-up of the season between the two schools. An ACU quarterfinal win would put them in the semifinals for only the second time in school history.
“This is it, it has to be our tournament,” said head coach Brek Horn. “The first place teams get a bye, so we either advance or we go home.”
If the Wildcats do win in the quarterfinals, the team will play LSC North Division champion Central Oklahoma on Friday at 5 p.m. The Wildcats’ no. 2 seeding means the team will not face West Texas A&M until a possible championship match on Saturday night.