By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The ACU volleyball team marched into the Junell Center in San Angelo Thursday night and pounded a helpless Angelo State team to take sole possession of first place in the Lone Star Conference South Division.
The Wildcats dominated one of the biggest matches of the season for their fourth straight victory. The win leaves ACU 20-6 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the division. The Rambelles, who were tied with the Wildcats for first place atop the LSC South Division, were plummeted by ACU in a 30-27, 30-24, 30-27 sweep.
Junior middle blocker Amanda Slate led the Wildcats, finishing with a game-high 16 kills, three service aces, four digs and a .480 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Lindsey Martin recorded 45 assists and three digs, junior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt added eight kills and 13 digs and freshman outside hitter Abbie Lowry and junior middle blocker Ashlee Motola each finished with nine kills.
“We wanted to put this match away in three games,” Slate said. “Our outside hitters played great and we really focused on defense and blocking.”
Head coach Brek Horn-a 1996 graduate of Angelo State and a former volleyball standout for the Rambelles-said the turning point of the match was winning game one.
“Winning the opening game was crucial for us,” Horn said. “If we don’t win that first game, their fans probably would have been a bigger part of the match. That was an important game.”
ACU will return to action Thursday at 7 p.m. traveling to Portales, N.M., to face Eastern New Mexico. The Wildcats edged out EMU at home Oct. 2 in a five-game thriller.
ACU goes from Portales to Canyon to face their rival West Texas A&M Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats swept the Lady Buffs at home Sept. 30.
Sophomore setter Malia Plumlee said the Wildcats’ approach toward ENMU and West Texas A&M will be no different that any other team this season.
“We will just take it one game at a time and play the way we are capable of,” she said.