The volleyball team will host its conference opener against University of Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Wildcats are coming off a win against Weber State Saturday morning after being swept by Texas Tech and the Air Force Friday afternoon.
The Raiders swept ACU (25-18, 25-17 and 25-9) improving their undefeated record to 10-0. Air Force finished the Wildcats off for the day (25-19, 25-19 and 25-17) improving their record to 6-7 on the season.
“Overall, we did ok,” said Jason Bibler, head coach. “We didn’t rise to the challenge on Friday and didn’t fight like I expected us to. On Saturday, we really stepped up and turned things around and played very competitively and had a great drive to win the match.”
ACU ended the tournament on a positive note sweeping Weber State (25-22, 29-27 and 27-25). The long two-hour battle consisted of 15 lead changes and 34 tie scores. ACU hit .192 and dug out 47 of Weber State’s 114 attacks, blocking 12.5 shots.
The Wildcat offense was once again led by Jennie Loerch, junior outside hitter from Georgetown, with 16 kills followed by Stephanie Schoelman, freshman outside hitter from Georgetown, with nine kills, 12 digs and four block assists. Loerch was also the only ACU player to be named to the All-Tournament Team for the tournament.
Neely Borger, senior middle blocker from Amarillo, also recorded four kills on seven attempts and six blocks. Lexi Mercier, sophomore middle blocker from Centennial, Colorado, and Rachel Riley, senior right side hitter from Flower Mound, had six block assists as well.
Both ACU and Weber State finished Texas Tech’s Lone Star Showdown 1-2.
The Wildcats now direct their focus to Thursday night’s game as they open conference play with Central Arkansas who sits at 6-7.
“UCA will be very efficient on offense,” Bibler said. “They won’t make a lot of mistakes for us. They also have some very good blockers on their team as well.”
The Sugar Bear’s offense has been led primarily by junior outside hitter Heather Schnars (.600) and sophomore middle blocker Fulani Petties (.304).
“They run a really fast offense and hit the ball pretty hard,” Loerch said. “Typically, we’re used to one or the other, but they’re strong on both points.”
UCA’s defense is led by Shelbee Berringer, senior defensive specialist, averaging 15 digs per game this season.
“It will be a very tough match, and the team will have to really fight hard for each point,” Bibler said. “If we can slow them down offensively by playing great defense and take advantage of our opportunities, we will do well.”