By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
After starting the volleyball season playing 11 of 13 games on the road, the Wildcats finally return to Abilene, hosting two matches this weekend in Moody Coliseum. ACU will host a winless Texas A&M-Commerce team Friday at 7 p.m. and the 2-9 Southeastern Oklahoma State Lady Savages Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Wildcats own an 8-5 record after destroying Texas Woman’s University Tuesday night in three straight games. The Wildcats won a close opening game 30-24, but then finished off the Pioneers by winning the final two games 30-17 and 30-25.
“The game just flowed well for us Tuesday night,” said head coach Brek Horn. “Everything we did seemed to work.”
The Wildcats did everything they could to work the ball around and finished the match with five players who had at least nine kills. Junior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt led the team with 13 kills, junior setter Lindsey Martin distributed 48 assists and sophomore setter Malia Plumlee and senior libero Kellen Morrow each had double-digit digs.
Junior middle blocker Amanda Slate posted 11 kills and had a .444 hitting percentage, senior middle blocker Sophia Kindred chipped in 10 kills and a .533 hitting percentage, sophomore outside hitter Callie Delabano contributed 10 kills and junior middle blocker Ashlee Motola added nine kills and hit .444.
“Our passing was very good and we were able to spread the ball around to create more options,” Horn said. “They didn’t know where the ball was going because we had some many weapons.”
Juniors Slate, Martin and Bernhardt serve as a trio of destructive weapons for the Wildcats this season. Bernhardt has 199 kills and 4.42 kills per game, ranking her third in the Lone Star Conference in each category. Bernhardt was also named the LSC South offensive player of the week last week.
After the Tuesday match, Martin moved to first in the LSC in assists with 551. The junior averages 12.24 assists per game, which is also the top spot in the LSC.
Slate ranks fourth in the LSC with a .333 hitting percentage to round out the Wildcats atop the LSC leader board. Slate said despite these individual feats, the wins and losses are the most important thing.
“Everyone is hitting well right now,” Slate said. “We just have to keep passing well and leave Lindsey with a lot of options.”