The ACU volleyball team won their first game of the 2014 season this past weekend at the 27th annual Mean Green Classic. After falling to North Texas Friday night and Utah Valley in the first Saturday game, the Wildcats bounced back and defeated Jackson State in their second game Saturday afternoon.
Head Coach Jason Bibler said, “I think it helped the girls relax a little bit. They have been working really hard and to see all the effort equal a win was really nice.”
The rematch against North Texas ended in another ACU loss, but also resulted in the Wildcats’ snapping their eight-match losing streak as they took the first set against the Mean Green. The host responded quickly as North Texas took the next three matches to end the night with a 3-1 win.
ACU was close to perfect in the first match hitting .438 as a team making only one error on 32 attempts. The next three sets were not nearly as good as the Wildcats hit .185, .192, and .160 followed with 16 errors.
ACU finished the night hitting .255 next to a .342 average from the Mean Green.
Junior outside hitter Jennie Loerch led the Wildcats’ offense once again hitting .255 with 18 kills.
ACU suffered a four-set loss to Utah Valley (3-7) in game one of Saturday afternoon (25-9, 24-26, 26-24, and 25-17).
In the final game of the tournament, the Wildcats fell to Jackson State in the first set but went to win the next three (25-20, 25-12, 25-23).
Senior middle blocker Neely Borger recorded six of the ten Wildcat blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Lexi Mercier and junior setter Sarah Siemens had four block assists and hit a combined .307 hitting percentage.
Bibler said, “We really had a couple girls step up for us in that match and carry a bit bigger load for the team, which helped us out a lot. That is what we will need to do going forward in order to win so it was nice to have them step up.”
Mercier had a team-high 13 kills on 23 attempts (.348) while Siemens had 7 kills on 12 attempts (.583). Freshman outside hitter Stephanie Schoelman had 11 kills hitting .350 in the final match.
The Wildcats’ defense was led by Madison Hoover with 14 digs and 10.0 blocks. ACU held Jackson State to .165 hitting percentage and dug out 33 attacks total.
Bibler said, “We are just going to keep focusing on what we can control and being ourselves as much as possible. We have to keep pushing and making ourselves better in order for us to keep winning.”