By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The Wildcats continued their torrid pace of inconsistency last weekend, splitting a pair of away matches in San Antonio against St. Mary’s and Incarnate Word.
ACU started the weekend slowly, dropping three straight games (30-26, 30-20, 30-27) to the Rattlers in their home opener. St. Mary’s improved to 6-3, and the Wildcats fell to 6-5.
“You never want to play another team for their home opener,” said ACU head coach Brek Horn.
Lindsey Van Horn led the Rattlers with 14 kills, and Megan Lowry added 10. Junior middle blocker Amanda Slate led ACU with 14 kills, senior middle blocker Sophia Kindred added 10 kills and junior setter Lindsey Martin chipped in 39 assists.
Junior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt hit only .121 and recorded nine kills. Bernhardt, who leads the Wildcats in kills this season with 145, injured her shoulder in Tuesday night’s home game against Lubbock Christian.
Senior libero Kellen Morrow, who led the Wildcats with 14 digs in the loss, said this season has had its up and downs.
“So far it’s been a roller coaster ride for us,” Morrow said. “St. Mary’s is a smart, well-coached team, but we just played as individuals instead of as a team.”
True to its 2004 form, the Wildcats bounced back on Saturday defeating Incarnate Word to improve their record to 7-5.
The Wildcats struggled in the first two games against the winless Incarnate Word team, but ACU edged the Cardinals in the opening game 30-22, but dropped the second game 28-30. The Wildcats rallied in the final two games of the match winning 30-21, 30-18.
Slate again led the Wildcats with a .593 hitting percentage and a game-high 19 kills. Bernhardt added 15 kills, freshman outside hitter Abbie Lowry chipped in 14 kills and Martin posted 48 assists, nine digs and two kills in the win for the Wildcats.
“Coach Horn basically told us that we are too good not to win,” Morrow said. “We turned it around on Saturday and won the game with good chemistry. Volleyball is all about team chemistry.”
The Wildcats test their team chemistry again this weekend with home matches against Texas A&M-Commerce on Friday at 7 p.m. and Southeast Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. on Saturday.