By Michael Freeman, Assistant Sports Editor
The Wildcat volleyball team won two of its three matches last weekend at the ACU Volleyball Classic. ACU fell to No. 18 Pittsburg State on Friday but rebounded to take down Fort Hays State and Texas-Permian Basin on Saturday. After its first three
home games, the Wildcats are now 4-6 for the season.
On Saturday, ACU played Fort Hays State in Moody Coliseum. Senior outside hitter Abbie Lowry and junior middle blocker
Lauren Leone led the way as the Wildcats picked up a 30-20, 24-30, 30-25, 30- 21 win. Lowry finished with 20 kills, while Leone ended up with 12 kills. Freshman setter Ijeoma Moronu led players with 55 assists in the match. Head coach Kellen Mock was pleased with ACU’s improved ball control, an apparent weakness during previous weeks.
“Our ball control on our side of the net was the best we’ve had the entire season so far with our serve-receive and our defense,” Mock said. “All of a sudden, we’ve turned a new leaf.”
In the Wildcats’ second match, ACU went up against Texas-Permian Basin. The Wildcats swept the match 32-30, 30-25, 30-16. Sophomore middle blocker Krystine Cethoute contributed with eight kills and a commanding .727 hitting-percentage.
“They definitely threw a lot at us,” Mock said. “I think we did an excellent job at stepping up and playing good defense. I think our defense really won both of those matches for us.”
The two victories were impressive recoveries after falling the day before to Pittsburg State, the No. 18 team in the nation. The Pittsburg State Gorillas downed ACU 30-25, 30-19, 21-30, 30-27. The victory improved the Gorillas’ record to 11-1. Lowry led ACU with 15 kills and 11 digs, while Cethoute finished with eight kills.
“I think we played a very good match,” Mock said. “However, Pitt State is a little bit more experienced and a little bit older than us. And I think that’s what won the game for them. They know how to win.”
Coach Mock also emphasized that ACU is striving to become a nationally ranked caliber team.
“We’re going to get there; playing teams like that is going to help us get there,” Mock said. “We’re just not quite there yet.”
The Wildcats will continue to strive as they compete against its first conference opponent, Southeastern Oklahoma State. ACU will open LSC Crossover the Savage Storm on the road Thursday at 7 p.m.
“They play pretty scrappy volleyball,” Mock said. “When you go into their gym, you have to bring your A-game because they’ll be ready for you.”