The ACU volleyball team improved its record in the Lone Star Conference on Tuesday night Oct. 11Â at Moody Coliseum. The Wildcats beat Texas A&M University-Kingsville 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, and 25-16).
The Javelinas couldn’t muster much offensively, recording a hitting percentage of only .010. The team also had 31 errors in 105 attempts.
Senior Kelsie Edwards and her teammates kept Kingsville off-balance.
“It started with serve receive,” said Edwards. “Playing defense around our block and just being consistent on and off the court was key.”
Three Javelina players ended the match with negative hitting percentages as Kingsville dropped toÂ 10-9 and 4-8 in the LSC. ACU improved to 12-10 and 6-4 while it had a .261 team hitting percentage.
Head coach Kellen Mock liked what she saw from her team.
“That was a good win for us. It was one of the few times this season where we got on top of a team and took care of business from the beginning to the end. We denominated for nearly the entire match.”
“Our block has shown back up since the Washburn tournament. Sarah Oxford has been a part of that along with Whitney Stevens and Neely Borger.”
Edwards felt the team needed to win in straight sets.
“A win in three was huge. I know we can beat a lot of teams in straight sets, and we proved that in this victory.”
Senior Jennie Hutt had a team high of 14 kills, followed by Kalynne Allen and Borger with seven apiece.
On the defensive side of the ball, Borger led the ‘Cats with six blocks. Oxford helped contribute with four of the team’s 10 total blocks.
Edwards put up 10 digs, and the Wildcats had 40 in the match. Haley Rhoads was active, setting the ‘Cats up with 34 assists.
In the first set, ACU never fell behind Kingsville. At 21-11, the Javelinas tried to make a comeback. The team rallied off six consecutive points behind three straight attacking errors on the ‘Cats. An effective timeout by the Wildcats ended any hopes of a complete turnaround. Borger finished off the set with a kill.
The second set proved to be more competitive. There were four ties and three lead changes. Hutt, Borger, and Rhoades all came up big when the set was tied at 15-15. Hutt and Rhoades picked up kills. On the other hand, Borger was able to get a service ace.
During the third set, ACU took the momentum and ran with it. Down 6-5, the Wildcats scored 14 of the next 16 points, including two straight kills by Hutt.
The ‘Cats were up 20-9 late when Kingsville attempted to halt the ACU win. The Javelinas tightened the lead to 20-15 only to have three errors cost them the set and match.
Mock said now is the time for the Wildcats to play their best volleyball.
“We’re at a do or die scenario. If we keep winning, we could go to the conference tournament with a good seed. If the girls don’t keep winning, we’ll be scratching and clawing our way to get in.”
ACU gets back on the hard court on Saturday, Oct. 15 for its first match against Tarleton State University. The battle will take place in Stephenville at 2 p.m.
Tarleton State is 13-9 overall and 7-3 versus teams in the LSC. The Texans’ only conference losses were to Angelo State University, who is ranked nationally, and Texas Woman’s University, to whom they lost twice.
Edwards said the Javelinas aren’t afraid to show their emotion on the court.
“They’re a very emotional team, and so we’ve been preparing for that. This will be a great opportunity for us to beat a good squad because they have tall players and they’re loud on the floor.”
According to Mock, Stephenville is a rough environment to play in.
“Tarleton is really tough to play at their place. They have one of the best home crowds I’ve ever seen. The fact that their gym is small only adds to this issue.”