The Wildcat volleyball team started its conference season with a bang, hammering the Angelo State Rambelles 3-0 in Angelo on Tuesday.
ACU maintained the momentum of a five-game win streak coming into the match and never was threatened, winning the three games at 25-17, 25-15 and 25-19. Hitting percentage told the story with the Wildcats never hitting below .241 in the match, while the Rambelles never hit better than .083.
Leading the spike fest were seniors, Jennie Hutt and Jordan Schilling, who posted nine and eight kills respectively. Senior Shawna Hines also had an excellent match for the Wildcats, getting seven kills and six blocks. Her half-dozen blocks in the match put her only six blocks behind second place on ACU’s all-time blocks record. Hines currently sits at 494 blocks in her stellar ACU career, but is still almost 200 blocks behind ACU’s all time leader, Linda Evans.
This past week the Wildcats were honored for their hot start to this season by sweeping the LSC Player of the Week awards. Kalynne Allen, Ijeoma Moronu, and Shawna Hines were all awarded for their outstanding play last weekend for going 4-0 in the St. Edwards Invitational.
Allen brought home the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week. She hit .304 with 38 kills and had two double-doubles during the tournament to earn all-Tournament MVP honors. Hines earned the LSC Defensive Player of the Week with her 18 blocks during the weekend. The LSC Setter of the Week went to Moronu, who recorded 149 assists in her four games over the weekend. She also made the all-tournament team.
The win against Angelo gives the Wildcats a 7-2 record for the season, but they will be tested in their home opener Saturday. The undefeated Tarleton State TexAnns (9-0) will visit Moody Coliseum to try and extend their record start to the season. This is the first time in Tarleton history that their volleyball team has started 9-0.
“We’ve been preparing for this game for two years,” said junior libero Kelsie Edwards. “They have a great team, obviously, and we’re really good as well. It’s going to be a great match-up.”
Edwards isn’t the only Wildcat who is thrilled about playing at home for the first time.
“We’re really excited about this opportunity and game,” said senior Ijeoma Moronu. “We’ve had a great week of practice and we feel like we’re really prepared.”
Last year the Wildcats got the best of the TexAnns, beating them 3-1 at home in the season finale. ACU has beaten Tarleton three out of the last four years, and hopes to do so again this weekend. The volleyball team is encouraging fans to all wear purple in support of the team.
“It’s a purple out, and our fans are always great supporters,” said Edwards. “The purple will definitely help us out.”
The Wildcats know the stakes are high for so early in the season, but they love a home atmosphere and appreciate their fans.
“It’s our first home game, and I know our fans will have our back,” Moronu said.