By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The ACU volleyball team forged a split of the four-match tournament in San Bernardino, Calif., last weekend pushing its record to 5-4 this season.
The Wildcats dropped both matches on Friday to No. 7 Cal State-San Bernardino and No. 25 Fort Hayes State before regrouping to win both Saturday matches against Sonoma State and No. 19 Minnesota State-Mankato.
Junior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt finished with 66 kills in the four-match tournament and once again earned all-tournament honors. Bernhardt was also named all-tournament at the West Texas A&M Lady Buff Classic in Canyon on Aug. 27-28.
Though Bernhardt performed well, Cal State-San Bernardino was better on Friday dismissing the Wildcats in three straight games. Bernhardt led the Wildcats with 14 kills and junior setter Lindsey Martin led the team with 27 assists in game one of the tournament.
“We played them in their home opener and you never want that,” said head coach Brek Horn.
The second match, ACU lost again in three straight games losing to No. 25 Fort Hayes State. Bernhardt and sophomore outside hitter Callie Delabano each had 13 kills in the losing effort.
On Saturday, the Wildcats played like a different team holding off Sonoma State Saturday morning in a five-game match. Junior middle blocker Amanda Slate led ACU with 21 kills and a .329 hitting percentage. Bernhardt posted 17 kills and Delabano added 12 kills. Martin produced a game-high 58 assists in the five-game match.
Senior middle blocker Sophia Kindred said Martin always plays an important part of the team’s success.
“She’s the quarterback of the team,” Kindred said. “She does a great job delivering the ball.”
Carrying its momentum from the morning match, the Wildcats upset No. 19 Minnesota State-Mankato in the final match of the tournament.
Bernhardt saved her best game for last finishing with a game-high 22 kills and 13 digs. Senior libero Kellen Morrow led ACU with 22 digs, Slate and Delabano each had 12 kills and Martin chipped in a game-high 50 assists.
“I guess it was considered an upset since they are a nationally ranked team,” Kindred said. “It was a good win for us considering it’s only the second week of play. It says a lot about our team.”