By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
Senior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt played another big game for the Wildcats on Friday, as the Wildcats easily handled another non-conference team Friday, beating St. Mary’s 3-0.
The Wildcats put away St. Mary’s with scores of 30-20, 30-18, and 30-21 to extend their win streak to 14 matches for the year and 29 straight in Moody Coliseum.
Bernhardt had 13 kills and 23 digs to lead the team in both categories, and senior setter Lindsey Martin added to her record assists with 42 in the three games against St. Mary’s.
The Wildcats will play two strong Lone Star Conference South Division teams this weekend when Eastern New Mexico and West Texas A&M visit Moody Coliseum.
Last year, Eastern New Mexico finished second in the South, and gave the Wildcats their only division loss of the year.
“I know they’ll be solid,” head coach Brek Horn said. “They are always a solid blocking team and a solid defensive team.”
Horn said Eastern New Mexico runs an unorthodox type of offense, and the Wildcats will have to work on patience before the game.
“They make amazing plays on the ball and then get it back over and then wait for you to mess up,” Horn said. “As a hitter, if you keep hitting it at them, and they keep digging it and getting it back, you get frustrated because what you’re doing’s not working.”
The real test will be Saturday, when the Wildcats take on the Lady Buffs, a perennial power in the conference.
“In my opinion [they] will be our toughest competition-in conference,” Horn said. “I think that we will be duking it our for who’s going to win the South zone.”
The Lady Buffs are 15-6 overall and began their South division play this weekend by beating Texas A&M-Kingsville and Tarleton State three games to none.
After this weekend’s games, five conference games remain for the Wildcats with four on the road.
“We know that’s hard; we have the target on our backs because we are the defending conference champions,” Horn said. “Everyone’s trying to knock us off.”
The Wildcats play Eastern New Mexico at 7 p.m. Thursday and West Texas A&M at 2 p.m. Saturday.