By Michael Freeman, Assistant Sports Editor
ACU volleyball team will face the Texas Woman’s Pioneers Thursday in a Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament quarterfinal match. The Wildcats finished its regular season with a 14-13 overall record with an 8-4 conference record. On Thursday, ACU, seeded No. 4 in the tournament, will head to Canyon to take on the Pioneers. Texas Woman’s, the No. 5 seed, finished 15-12 overall and 6-6 in conference play.
“Every game you get to play in the playoffs is a bonus,” said head coach Kellen Mock. “We want to take good advantage of it and just keep pushing to win more and more games.”
Last year in the first round of the LSC tournament, the Wildcats lost to Texas Woman’s 33-31, 30-24, 30-22. The match was held in Lawton, Okla., the home of Cameron University. This year, West Texas A&M is hosting the tournament, and Mock said that the Wildcats enjoy playing in Canyon.
“It’s a very easy gym to play in because of the size,” Mock said. “It gets loud. And our girls love to play in a loud gym.”
Earlier this season, the Wildcats beat Texas Woman’s by the count of 30-13, 30-24, 30-22 in Moody Coliseum.
“This year when we played them, we did a good job at picking apart their weaknesses,” Mock said. “If we continue to do that, I think we’ll be successful against Texas Woman’s.”
ACU ended its regular season with a 15-30, 30-25, 30-28, 30-26 loss to Midwestern State on Saturday in Moody Coliseum. The victory boosted Midwestern State to 27-4 on the year and 10-2 in conference play. The win also secured the No. 3 seed for Midwestern.
“Good teams aren’t going to just lie down and die. Good teams are going to come back fighting,” Mock said. “In game two, Midwestern really came back fighting.”
Senior outside hitter Abbie Lowry posted a double-double with a match-high 22 kills and 16 digs. Lowry’s performance marked her 16th doubledouble for the season. Freshman setter Ijeoma Moronu was named the LSC co-Setter of the Week for the second straight week after posting a match-high 54 assists and 15 digs against Midwestern State. But 11 Wildcat service errors proved to be the differencemaker in the match as ACU lost in four games.
“We struggled to keep the momentum in the match against Midwestern,” Mock said. “I think that’s something the girls have learned from, and hopefully that won’t be a problem when we go through the conference tournament.”
The Wildcats, who were not quite as sharp as they had been in earlier matches, fought through “Senior Night” to beat Cameron 30-18, 30-24, 30-28 in Moody Coliseum.
“There wasn’t a flow in the Cameron game,” Mock said. “We were a little shaky, but I was just so impressed with the girls to win in three.”
Lowry finished the match with 13 kills and 11 digs, while senior libero Liz Snoddy ended the night with 14 digs and two service aces. ACU sophomores Erin Curry and Michelle Bacon each finished with 10 kills. And sophomore defensive specialist Amy Wilson led the Wildcats in digs with 18.
“When things aren’t easy, they’re going to find a way to still win,” Mock said. “I think that was a great confidence booster.”
ACU will take that confidence as the Wildcats begin postseason play against Texas Woman’s at 5 p.m. on Thursday.