The Wildcat volleyball team shut out conference rival Texas Woman’s 3-0 in front of an excited crowd at Moody Coliseum on Thursday evening.
ACU entered the match against TWU with a 15-5 overall record – and a perfect 5-0 for games within the friendly confines of Moody – while the Pioneers came to Abilene sporting a 12-10 record. The victory gave the Wildcats a 3-1 record in Lone Star Conference play, and the Pioneers dropped to 2-3.
The ‘Cats played a strong game all around, capturing the victory and hitting .286 as a team, while holding the Pioneers to a .126 percentage. Setter Ijeoma Moronu played a major role in the victory and praised her team’s performance.
“We did a really good job of staying together,” Moronu said. “We played well for most of the night, and even when we were not, we worked together and made things work.”
The Wildcats were strong coming out of the gate, winning the first set 25-15. They built momentum early on when Lauren Leone drilled a kill to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead, and then, Moronu aced the Wildcats’ first serve of the match. ACU began to pull away when Michelle Bacon collected two consecutive points for the Wildcats, giving them a 17-11 lead. The team would go on to score eight of the next 12 points to take the set.
In the second set, ACU grabbed the first point on a TWU error and jumped out to a 14-8 lead. The Pioneers cut the lead to three before the Wildcats scored the next three points to put some distance between themselves and TWU. The Pioneers showed some resiliency, roaring back to knot the match at 22-22. ACU, however, ended the set on a 3-0 run, squeaking out a victory, 25-22.
The Wildcats took the third and final set to complete the shutout 25-21. The Wildcats gained a quick 5-1 lead with two early kills from Jennie Hutt. But when TWU tied the match at 15-15, Head Coach Kellen Mock called a timeout. After the timeout, the ladies regained their composure and ended the set and the game on a 10-6 run. Shawna Hines scored the deciding point.
ACU dominated the net during the game, beating TWU in kills 47-35. Jordan Schilling collected a game-high 11 kills, and Ijeoma Moronu set the tone with six kills and 33 assists. Mock was thrilled with the play of her front three, especially Moronu, and continues to see her junior setter progress.
“She just does a really good job for us,” Mock said of Moronu. “She plays consistent, strong, and can really be a game changer for us. But even when she struggles, our girls do a good job of making up for it.”
The Wildcats’ next opponent will be the Texas A&M-Commerce Lady Lions. TAMU-C has compiled an 18-5 record to this point and is 4-1 in conference. The two teams will square off in an LSC-heavyweight fight in Moody Coliseum at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The talented Lady Lions have the team’s attention, but Mock said she thinks her girls are well prepared.
“Commerce is a really good team,” Mock said. “But our girls have really started to gel as a team.”