By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
While most students at ACU were attending class and studying yesterday, the women of the ACU volleyball team were soaking up the sun in the state where The Terminator governs. The Wildcats left after Chapel on Wednesday for San Bernardino, Calif., in preparation for a weekend tournament.
“I’ve never been to California before so I’m excited to go there and play volleyball,” said junior middle blocker Amanda Slate.
Though unlikely for Slate to see Gov. Arnold this weekend, she and her teammates will meet four opponents looking to terminate the Wildcats at the San Bernardino Tournament. Three of the four teams ACU will face are nationally ranked.
ACU opens the tournament today at 12:30 p.m. against the No. 7 team in the nation, San Bernardino. The Wildcats play again at 5 p.m. to face Fort Hayes State.
“San Bernardino is obviously a very good team,” said head coach Brek Horn. “I think it’s their first home match too so that’s not working in our favor either. You never want to be someone’s first home match.”
The Wildcats return to the court Saturday morning to play Sonoma State at 10 a.m. and the tournament wraps up for ACU Saturday at 5 p.m. against Minnesota-Mankato.
Junior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt said the team worked on intensity and mental toughness this week at practice in preparation for the tournament.
“We are playing some really good teams but I think we are ready,” Bernhardt said. “We focused on staying intense in practice and worked on drills to help us get through tough matches.”
ACU may have some tough matches this weekend, but on Tuesday night the Wildcats easily destroyed the visiting Wayland Baptist team in three straight games. The home opener produced a solid crowd of 400 fans cheering on the electric ACU volleyball team.
Slate wowed the crowed with her game-high 16 kills and supplied an outrageous .750 hitting percentage in the three-game match.
“I was just trying to find the open spots on the court and hit them,” Slate said modestly. “The third game was really intense and everyone was hitting well.”
With the win over Wayland Baptist, the Wildcats improve their record to 3-2 on the season. ACU will return home Tuesday to compete against west Texas foe Lubbock Christian at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum following the four-game tournament in San Bernardino.