The Wildcat volleyball team finished a nail-bitter in exhilarating fashion on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 10. No. 3 seeded ACU was able to pull out a 3-2 victory (20-25, 26-24, 25-16, 18-25, and 19-17) against #6 seeded Cameron University in the Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament.
The win propels the ‘Cats into the semifinal round of the tournament on Friday, Nov. 10. They face No. 2 seed Angelo State University at 5 p.m. ASU was a 3-0 winner overÂ No. 7 seed Midwestern State University.
Head coach Kellen Mock credits the Cameron coaches for having their team prepared to play the Wildcats.
“Their a great team no doubt about it. The coaches in this conference are taking their teams to a whole new level by using the talent they have and then coaching it in a way that makes sense. It’s hard to win in the LSC.”
ACU is now 3-0 versus Cameron this season. They improved their overall and conference record to 21-12 and 14-6. Cameron falls to 15-15 and 9-12 in the LSC.
The first game of the match was close early as the Wildcats and Aggies traded points back-and-forth. Cameron eventually jumped out and maintained a lead which grew to five at 13-18. After Mock called a timeout at 15-22, ACU went on 5-2 run to make it 20-24. It wasn’t enough though as the ‘Cats had dug themselves into too large of a hole.
The Wildcats had a .235 hitting percentage for the set, while the Aggies hit .312.
Cameron continued its momentum and strong play in the second game leading 6-1 at one point. With ACU down 4-9, Mock called a timeout and this time it worked. The ‘Cats rallied off five straight points and seven out of eight in route to an 11-10 lead, its first of the set.
Unfortunately the advantage didn’t last, because the Aggies found a way to fight back. The team scored eight of the next nine points (led 17-12) and inched closer to what would be a major upset.
ACU on the other hand, had other plans. The Wildcats, this year, are more than accustomed to being on the brink of defeat and the girls put together an incredible finish to the game. Neely Borger and Rachel Riley both recorded multiple key blocks and kills in the last half of the second set. Borger finished the match with nine blocks.
The ‘Cats were one point away from being down 2-0 in the match at 22-24, but ACU would record the final four points and Sara Oxford ended the game with an enormous block. She had four on the day.
The third and fourth games were mirror images of each other. The third was all Wildcats, while the Aggies dominated the fourth.
Cameron couldn’t recover from its devastating defeat in the second game and trailed nearly the entire third set, as a result.
ACU might have played its toughest fifth set of the entire season with the Aggies. Not only were the ‘Cats down 5-11, but there were three lead changes and five ties.
The Wildcats finished the match strong by scoring 14 of the final 20 points. Aubree Vick made it 18-17 ACU on a clutch kill then Cameron shot itself in the foot with an attack error, giving Abilene Christian another come-from-behind win.
Mock said the Aggies game-plan confused many of the Wildcats.
“The girls didn’t do a good job of adjusting at any point in this match, but we fought back and I was proud of the effort level.”
“Cameron started to push the ball to the deep corner which they hadn’t done against us before,” said Mock. “We were really tight today. I don’t think our team came in with the intensity level they needed to have.”
Jennie Hutt led the ‘Cat squad with 16 kills. Oxford had 14. Haley Rhoads helped the team with 59 assists and seven digs from the setter position.