The ACU volleyball team dropped its eighth Southland Conference match last Saturday against Texas A&M Corpus Christi in four sets (25-27, 25-13, 25-15 and 25-21).
This win put the Islanders at 5-2 in conference play and kept the Wildcats winless at 0-8.
ACU started off strong after an exciting first-set victory that featured seven tie scores and two lead changes, but were unable to feed off the momentum in the following two sets.
Corpus Christi answered back by breaking the early 2-2 tie with a four-point run in the second set. This momentum was just enough for the Islanders to lead the rest of the second set comfortably.
“They came back in the second set and we lost our focus and weren’t disciplined,” said Jennie Loerch, junior outside hitter from Georgetown.
The Wildcats were not able to come within three points of Corpus Christi after they led off the third match with four consecutive points.
ACU rallied in the fourth set after leading three different times (3-0, 7-4 and 9-6) but were quickly overcome by the Islanders, who had a 6-2 run on the Wildcats to take the lead at 13-12. ACU went on to tie the score three more times, but never regained the lead and were finally defeated.
“We started strong and had a great chemistry on the court,” said Brooke Ray, sophomore defensive specialist from Lucas. “After we won the first set, Corpus Christi really stepped up their game and came back stronger and we were not ready to put up a fight against that level of play until halfway into the third match. The fourth match we fought the whole time and just came up short.”
The Wildcats were outhit by the Islanders (.072 to .192) who had four players with at least 10 kills.
Loerch led ACU’s offense with 10 kills followed by Sarah Siemens, junior setter from Bakersfield, California, with four points, and Lexi Mercier, sophomore middle blocker from Centennial, Colorado, with three points.
ACU’s defense played a standout game, blocking 11.0 shots and digging out 77 attacks. Ray led her team defensively with 21 digs, followed by Loerch with 13 digs.
“For the next game, we need to focus on executing our game plan and just taking care of our side of the net,” Ray said. “We need to turn on the switch that we have been talking about for a while and decide to show up. It’s all a mindset for our team.”