The ACU volleyball team was defeated one final time to conclude its 2014 season, falling to Northwestern State Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats fell in a five-set fashion (19-25, 25-19, 18-25, 26-24 and 15-12) as they wrapped up conference play with a 4-12 record and finished 6-24 overall.
This win pushed the Lady Demons to 10-6 in Southland play and 13-16 overall. Northwestern State will enter Southland Conference’s tournament next week as the No. 5 seed.
The teams went back and forth as the Lady Demons countered ACU’s first set victory by claiming the second one, and the Wildcats answered back by commanding the third set.
Northwestern took a six-point lead (15-9) midway through the fourth set that was countered by an 11-5 run from the Wildcats to tie the score 20-20. It was during this time ACU capitalized on six attack errors from the Lady Demons, with sophomore outside hitter from White Oak, Dorothy Swanson, recording two kills.
The score would be tied three more times (22-22, 23-23 and 24-24) before the Lady Demons scored back-to-back points on a kill from Caiti O’Connell, redshirt junior outside hitter from Friendswood, and an ace by Aubrey Davis, freshman outside hitter from Plano.
“We had some moments that we just didn’t take advantage of,” said Brooke Ray, sophomore defensive specialist from Lucas. “We didn’t make the clutch plays.”
The Wildcats took a 4-0 lead in the fifth set to 10-8 on a kill from Swanson followed by two points from Jennie Loerch, junior outside hitter from Georgetown, and an attack error against Northwestern.
The Lady Demons responded by tying the score twice more at 11-11 and 12-12 before commanding the victory with one final block and an ace from Emily Johnson, senior defensive specialist from Plano.
Northwestern outblocked ACU 15-10 and dug out 74 of the Wildcats’ 184 attacks. ACU’s defense was led by junior libero from Flower Mound, Madison Hoover, with 26 out of 86 digs for the Wildcats.
Loerch led ACU’s offense once again with 16 kills followed by Rachel Riley, senior right side hitter from Flower Mound, with 14 and Lexi Mercier, sophomore middle blocker from Centennial, Colorado, with 10.
Sarah Siemens, junior setter from Bakersfield, California, had 47 assists while senior middle blocker from Amarillo, Neely Borger, recorded five block assists in her final collegiate match.
“We just lack that little bit of killer instinct to finish teams off,” said Jason Bibler, head coach. “We are one dig, one kill, one block away from winning our match on Saturday. If we could have gotten one more, we have the ability to win that match.”