The Wildcats were pulled off a 3-2 upset last night against UT Arlington to earn their first victory on the season.
Head coach Jason Bibler said the win was fruit of their hard work they have put in the last three weeks.
“They have been working really hard yesterday and last weekend in Omaha and so I think it was really good for us to see the kind of execution that we need to score points and win sets and win matches” Bibler said.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start against the Mavs in the first set, but fought back at the end before eventually dropping the first set 28-26. This was the first of long sets to come as three of the five sets were settled by three points or less.
The Cats were able to even up the score heading into the break, as they won the second set 25-18, but dropped the third set by a score of 18-25, giving UT-Arlington the advantage heading into fourth set. The Wildcats did give up, as they managed to battle back from an early fourth set deficit and even the match at 2-2.
In the tiebreaker set, the Wildcats got an early lead, 4-0, but the Mavericks made it hard for ACU as there were four lead changes in early on. After pushing the last set into extra points, the Cats were able to win the game off a misplaced set that UTA’s Marisah Ingram wasn’t able to handle at the net.
Bibler said the reason for his team’s success during the long sets is because of the mindset they instill in each other everyday.
“We are grinding it out every day, we talk about doing the same thing at 0-0 that we do 23-23, so that doesn’t change when the score is 24-24 we grind out every single play, every ball, every pass,” Bibler said. We just keep working hard all the time and good things will happen and they did tonight.”
ACU posted a hitting percentage of .155 on the night as UTA will be a good comparison team for the Wildcats. The Mavericks have played two Southland Conference opponents in Sam Houston St. and McNeese St. and were able to walk away with victories in both games.
With this victory, this not only gives the Wildcats their first victory on the season, but also their first win against UT-Arlington, as they had lost the previous nine meetings between the teams.
“We talk about being disciplined on the block, on defense. That’s just what we are gonna keep doing, because that is how we are gonna win matches,” Bibler said. You know UTA is a big, strong, physical team and I thought we did a really good job of making smart plays and aggressive shots to score points.”
ACU will this momentum on the road as they begin tournament play again this weekend as they travel to Lubbock for games against Texas Tech and UT-Rio Grande Valley on Friday and Oral Roberts on Saturday.