The Wildcats head to Omaha, Nebraska for their second weekend tournament of the season. The Omaha Classic will match ACU up against four teams it is yet to play since transitioning to Div. 1.
Head coach Jason Bibler said he hopes the team can continue to improve on some of the positives and negatives that came out of last weekend’s tournament.
“In general we saw a lot of our potential, how good we could be,” Bibler said. “Specifically our blocking and serve receives were really good last weekend, so we will continue to improve on those things.”
The Wildcats will begin tournament play on Friday at 3 p.m. against the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Kangaroos started the season off at the Oklahoma Invitational compiling a 2-1 record as they had impressive wins over UTEP and Oral Roberts, but fell to the hosting Sooners. They had two players, seniors Emma Hagedorn and Kaylyn Brandt, named to the all-Tournament Team. UMKC will have one game before the tournament kicks off this weekend. The ‘Roos will head to Vermilion, SD on Thursday for a night game against the University of South Dakota, who the Wildcats will also take on this weekend.
“We definitely have to make some better decisions offensively in order to help us score points and our back row defense needs to improve as well,” Bibler said.
The second game is also on Friday against the hosting Mavericks. Omaha comes in with a 0-3 record after last weekend’s North Dakota Classic, but was able to show some bright spots. One of these bright spots was junior setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy, she was named to the UND Classic all-Tournament Team for her performance as she had an average of 7.5 assists per set and 2.5 digs per set. The Mavericks are a young team with the addition of seven freshmen, after graduating six seniors from last year’s squad.
The final game for the Wildcats comes against the Coyotes from the University of South Dakota. The Coyotes bring a 3-1 record into the tournament and as mentioned earlier, they have a game against the UMKC Thursday. South Dakota played against ACU’s Southland Conference rival Incarnate Word at the Tulsa Tournament, where they beat UIW in three sets.
After last week’s tournament, Coach Bibler said the team needs to play with more confidence.
“We need to trust ourselves and our ability to handle the moment, regardless of the outcome,” Bibler said. “We are better than our result last weekend and we have to believe that. We set some good expectations for ourselves last weekend, so I’m excited to watch us play more consistently at that level and do the things we need to do in order to be successful.”