The ACU volleyball team will be hosting their final home game of the season this weekend. The Wildcats will be playing the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks who are 13-12 on the season and 5-7 in conference play.
ACU enters the game with a 6-13 record and a 2-9 conference record. The ‘Cats just came off a 3-0 conference win against New Orleans, where freshman Dorothy Swanson led the team to victory with her 14 kills. The Wildcats will rely heavily on both Swanson and sophomore Jennifer Loerch for much of the offensive output.
ACU will also be depending on freshman Lexi Mercier to continue her play at the net. She is leading the Southland in stops per set at 1.54 and has helped the wildcats become the conference leader in blocks at 2.25.
The Lumberjacks will be bringing in a solid offense, as they rank fourth in the conference in hitting at .205. The ‘Jacks were predicted by some preseason polls to win the conference and, therefore, should not be underestimated because of their mediocre record.
This game will also be significant for ACU’s two senior players Caley Johnson and Madelyn Robinett, as it will be the last time these two play in Moody Coliseum. As a junior Johnson was named Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year. She also has had a great transition into the Southland conference as she has averaged 2.38 digs per set this season. Robinett has also played well this season, leading the team in service aces with 17. She was also nominated as an Academic All-American this season.
This weekend also marks the beginning of the last stretch of games for the ‘Cats. Dorothy Swanson feels the team has played well this year but should’ve pulled a few more close games out this year.
“We lost some games we shouldn’t have lost but it is a big transition from Div. II to Div. I and the teams are all good but we can definitely play with them and we can win,” Swanson said.
Mock also said she is excited to continue playing after the conference games are over. The Wildcats will be playing two non-conference games against Grand Canyon University and University of Incarnate Word.
“Getting to play Incarnate Word and Grand Canyon, it lets us extend our season a little bit and there’s nothing like playing matches that make you better,” Mock said.
ACU has already played Northwestern State and will return to action next Friday against rival Incarnate Word in San Antonio.