By Michael Freeman, Assistant Sports Editor
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Wildcat volleyball team heads home Thursday to face conference rival Tarleton State. On Saturday, ACU will take on Texas A&M-Kingsville in Moody Coliseum.
Both the Tarleton State TexAnns and the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas have similar records. The TexAnns are 6-8, while the Javelinas are 5-4. Both opponents are 1-1 in the conference.
The Wildcats own a 5-6 record with a 1-0 record in conference play. The Wildcats’ last match resulted in a 3-0 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Thursday in Durant, Okla. The week-long break is the longest for ACU this season.
“I think the girls are getting a much needed rest,” said head coach Kellen Mock.
The rest should prepare ACU for Tarleton State, who is looking to rebound after a crushing loss to No. 21 West Texas A&M on Saturday by the count of 32-30, 30-24, 30-26. Coach Mock is not taking Thursday’s match against the TexAnns lightly.
“When they all sync up together, Tarleton is a very difficult team to play against,” Mock said. “They put a lot of power on the ball.”
Last year, the Wildcats defeated Tarleton State twice. In September, ACU downed Tarleton State in dominating fashion by the score of 30-22, 30-16, 30-27. However, the teams’ next meeting in October turned out differently. ACU still won in a comeback five-game match with the final score of 29-31, 31-29, 25-30, 31-29, 15-11.
Thursday’s match against the TexAnns is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. On Saturday, ACU’s second home match will be versus Texas A&M-Kingsville.
“I don’t know what to expect from Kingsville. They have a new coach this year,” Mock said. “Kingsville is kind of a surprise team for us.”
Last season, ACU’s September match against Texas A&M-Kingsville resulted in a 30-19, 30-21, 30-17 sweep. And ACU took the October match by a closer count of 15-30, 31-29, 30-26, 22-30, 15-13. But this is a new season, and the Javelinas are coming off of a three-game trouncing of Eastern New Mexico on Saturday.
Mock said the Wildcats will be ready to play Texas A&M-Kingsville come game time this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.
“Coming back against conference opponents in our own gym should be a successful weekend for us,” Mock said. “I think the girls are really up for the challenge.”