Following a weekend where the Wildcats faced three teams worthy of top 25 spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll, the team continues its 2015 campaign as it travels to Arlington Tuesday night to take on the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks.
The Mavericks (5-2) are a team ACU is very familiar with, as the programs have met each of the last three seasons. Aside from their last two meetings, both of which UTA has won, head coach Jason Bibler assisted the Maverick’s long time coach Dianne Seymour to a 19-15 record in 2013.
“I think we have a good idea of what we need to do in order to be successful and win,” Bibler said. “I have a team now that after two weeks of matches is willing to fight all the way through, and that’s what we need to do to win.”
Although the Wildcats (0-6) have struggled at times early in the season, they are coming off what most would consider their best game of the season against Texas A&M. Not only did the Wildcats rally to steal the third set, but they also gave the Aggies a scare in the second set before falling, 21-25 in the fourth set.
“We played some really solid opponents this weekend and we were able to see what we are capable of,” Bibler said. “It definitely gives us some confidence moving into this week because for a big chunk of our matches we were able to play point for point with some heavy competition.”
Offensively, the Wildcats enter the game led by senior Jennie Loerch averaging 3.41 kills per set and freshman Kendall Bosse averaging 1.8 per set. Defensively, the team is led by seniors Madison Hoover and Sarah Siemens who average 4.07 and 3 digs per set respectively, along with freshman Lauren Walker averaging 1.05 blocks per set. Siemens also leads the team with 7.82 assists per set and two double-doubles.
The opposition is led offensively by senior Stacey Koch with 3.38 kills per set and junior Cassidy Wheeler averaging 9.46 assists per set. On the defensive side, the Mavericks are led by senior Caitlyn Cooney with 3.73 digs per set and freshman Marisah Ingram 1.31 blocks per set.
“Even though we have played UTA in the past multiple times, and Jason obviously has past ties to the team, It doesn’t change our game plan,” assistant coach Ijeoma Moronu said. “Our game plan will always be, to out work the other side and to go hard every single point, because we know that we need to earn every point.”
A season ago the Mavericks swept the Wildcats in straight sets on their way to a 25-9 record and a semifinals appearance in the Sun Belt Championship. However, this season, as the Wildcats look for their first win, they will stick to their guns in what they hope will be a competitive matchup.
“The ties to UTA definitely give us an even greater drive to win and to compete to win, but our game plan will stay the same,” Moronu said.