The Wildcat volleyball team started the 2009 season with a 1-3 record, and the team has been nearly unbeatable ever since. The team’s 3-1 victory over Texas-Permian Basin on Tuesday evening was its 11th victory in a row and 22nd in the last 24 matches.
The Wildcats’ triumph over UTPB improves their record on the season to 23-5 overall. UTPB does not play in the Lone Star Conference, so ACU’s conference record still stands at 8-1, enough for second place in the LSC.
However, the victory over UTPB increases the momentum of Head Coach Kellen Mock and her team as conference play nears.
“We relied a lot on middle players tonight, and they stepped up,” Mock said. “Physically, we are in good shape; mentally, we just need to step up and take charge.”
ACU dominated the first set against the Lady Falcons with a commanding 25-10 win. In the second set, UTPB roared back to tie the match up with a solid 25-21 win. The Wildcats responded with back-to-back set victories scoring 25-13 and 25-18, respectively. Sophomore Jennie Hutt helped lead the charge during the match, leading the Wildcats in total attempts, 36, and in kills, 14, in what she called an up and down match.
“Our intensity was not as high as it usually is,” Hutt said. “The good news is that we can really work on that in practice. We’re in way better shape physically. We just need to come together mentally before the playoffs.”
While it was Hutt putting the ball away, it was Ijeoma Moronu who set the pace for ACU. Moronu had a game-high 43 individual assists, while UTPB had only 31 assists combined. Moronu continues to sit in third in the LSC in assists per game, averaging just over 10 helpers a set.
Coach Mock continues to rely heavily on Moronu, saying her job as a setter is much like the job a quarterback plays on a football team.
The Wildcats have four remaining regular-season games before postseason play. The team will travel to Oklahoma for two road games against East Central and Southeast Oklahoma State and will finish its season at home with games against Texas A&M Kingsville and Tarleton State.