By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
Despite ending the season with a loss to West Texas A&M, Kellen Mock is pleased with her first season as ACU’s head volleyball coach. “This was a great beginning,” Mock said. “I can’t say enough about how hard they have worked.”
The ACU volleyball team finished the season at 18-11 after its three game loss to West Texas in the Southwest Regional quarterfinal match on Thursday. The loss was the Wildcats’ third-straight to West Texas and knocked them out of the tournament.
“It’s not that we played poorly,” Mock said. “They picked up their level of play and the few times we struggled they took advantage of it.” West Texas eventually won the tournament and will move on to the Elite Eight with a 28-game winning streak.
The Lady Buffs are 35-3 and won both the conference and regional tournament. “It sure makes us feel a little better that the team we lost to is going on to the Elite Eight,” Mock said.
Although ACU did not win the Lone Star Conference tournament or move on as far as they did last season, Mock is pleased with the way her team played and said she would do little differently. “We had a lot of expectations to live up to,” Mock said. “But there isn’t anything I would have changed. It will only make us stronger.”
The Wildcats will lose two seniors, defensive specialist Malia Plumlee and middle blocker Nicole Killebrew, both of whom played well against West Texas A&M. Plumlee had seven digs and two aces while Killebrew recorded six kills and two blocks in the loss. Outside hitter Abbie Lowry led the Wildcats with nine kills against West Texas and finished the season with 475 kills and an average of 4.4 kills-per-game.
Lowry was named the LSC Player of the Year and made the all-region team. Middle blocker Lauren Leone was second in kills with 277 and held the teams best hitting percentage at 2.87 and most blocks with 94, Setter Erica Dickenson led the team in assists with 1017, while libero Liz Snoddy led in digs with 452.
ACU finished second in the Lone Star Conference behind West Texas and lost in the quarterfinals of both the LSC tournament and Southwest Regional tournament.
“Our win-loss record really doesn’t show how well we truly played,” Mock said. “We went up against some tough competition and we put up a fight.”
This season was the Wildcats’ eighth-consecutive winning season.