The Wildcats left Abilene this weekend riding a three-game winning streak, but after losses to Houston Baptist, 3-2, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 3-1, the streak hit a screeching halt.
In their matchup on Thursday night, ACU came up just short against the Huskies in a decisive game five. After winning the opening set 25-21, HBU rebounded with a 25-21 win of their own and 25-19 victory in game three to take 2-1 lead.
ACU returned to their winning ways in a tightly contested 26-24 game four win. With the score tied 24-24, seniors Jennie Loerch and Sarah Siemens put HBU away as Loerch recorded her 10th kill of the match and Siemens delivered a service ace to tie the match at 2-2.
After a quick intermission the Wildcats jumped out to an 8-3 on a kill from junior Lexi Mercier, but the Huskies would not go away as they battled back to cut the lead to two at 11-9. ACU would score the next point on a kill by freshman Jacey Smith, who finished the match with 10 kills, moving just three points away from their fourth straight win. However, HBU would not let up as they scored six of the next seven points to take the match with a 15-13 win.
The five-set match is the Wildcats’ fourth of the year as they fell to 1-3 in such matches.
On Saturday ACU traveled to take on Southland Conference leading Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The Islanders, who entered the game having won nine straight matches, took care of the Wildcats 3-1.
The match began with a closely contested game one, as no team held a lead larger than two the entire set. With the score tied 24-24, the Islanders converted a kill and took advantage of one of 21 ACU errors to take the first set 26-24.
The Islanders used an early 4-0 run to keep the momentum, en route to a 25-16 win game two win.
ACU battled back in game three behind the offensive presence of Loerch and freshman hitter Kendall Bosse. The set was characterized early by runs of four and five points, helping the Wildcats to a 9-5 lead. They would hold a lead as big as five before the Islanders evened the game at 21-21.
With the game tied Loerch converted three straight kill opportunities and the Wildcats took advantage of an Islanders’ error to take set three 25-23.
Game four drew many similarities to game two as ACU stayed close early, but with the Islanders leading 14-13 the Wildcats were only able to muster four more points the rest of the way falling 25-17.
Offensively the Wildcats were led by Loerch, whose 16 kills and 16 blocks earned her a double-double, and Bosse finishing with 14 kills. Siemens also contributed a double-double with 46 assists and 14 digs.
Although the Wildcats dropped to 4-4 in conference they were able to win a set against the Islanders, a feat only Stephen F. Austin had been able to do so far this conference season.
The Wildcats begin their final homestand of the season against New Orleans, followed by Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. ACU will play its home finale when they take on Nicholls State Oct. 26.