After three tough matches against Texas Christian University, University of Texas- El Paso, and Arizona, ACU was unable to notch a win, falling in three sets to TCU, 3-1, to UTEP, and straight sets against no.17 Arizona.
The Wildcats started the season with a rematch from last year against a much improved TCU team, but fell by scores of 9-25, 16-25, 15-25. Despite the loss, senior outside hitter Jennie Loerch picked up where she left off last season, tallying 10 kills, including the 1000th of her career. Entering the season with 992 kills, Loerch, who produced four kills in the first game and five in the second, found herself as the first Wildcat since Jennie Hutt (2010) to surpass 1,000 kills.
“She’s good,” head coach Jason Bibler said. “She has been huge for us the last few years and has been our go to player on the court in tight and must score situations.”
Senior setter Sarah Siemens contributed 16 assists to the Wildcats’ attack, while also leading the team defensively with seven digs. However, a .101 hitting percentage and 17 errors compared to an impressive .419 percentage and only seven errors by TCU, limited the Wildcats opportunities.
The team continued its season the next day when ACU battled UTEP in four close sets, 24-26, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20. ACU held the lead in each of the first three games, but was only able to capture one of the three sets. However, the wildcats managed to win their first set of the year, a feat that was not accomplished until seven games into the season a year ago.
ACU exploded offensively with a team tallying 64 kills, the third highest total in their last 87 matches. The attack was led by freshman Kendall Bosse with 15 kills, followed by Loerch and freshman Lauren Walker with 13 and 12.
Siemens, who had 15 digs in the match, more than doubled her assist total from the previous match recording 39, while senior libero Madison Hoover anchored the back row with 22 digs. But again a low hitting percentage and 43 errors hindered the Wildcats late in the match.
Later that day, ACU met with the University of Arizona for the first time in school history, but was overcome in just 70 minutes by scores of 13-25, 16-25, and 12-25. ACU’s offensive effort was led by sophomore Corinne Grandcolas, with six kills and two aces. Walker and Bosse again contributed significantly, combining for six kills, 21 assists, and 13 digs. Freshman libero Lillian Drever added 8 digs to the solid freshmen performance.
Although the Wildcats finished the weekend 0-3, Bibler is still very optimistic about the team going forward.
“We are doing some really good things, things that we need to do in order to win matches,” Bibler said. “I was impressed with our aggressiveness, overall mentality and our willingness to take risks in order to score points.”
The Wildcats are back in action on Sept. 4-5, when they travel to College Station to face Wichita State, New Mexico State, and Texas A&M.