The volleyball team remained unbeaten in Moody Coliseum this season as they downed both Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston St. in five sets each.
This brings the Wildcats to 6-3 in conference games and 7-17 on the season. ACU is also the only Southland Conference team still perfect at home.
Head coach Jason Bibler said that he likes the teamwork he is seeing from the team.
“I think you always want to protect your home court,” Bibler said. “We only get a certain number of home matches and for us to pull through in some close sets and matches in front of our fans is always a great feeling.”
ACU handed the Lumberjacks their first loss against the Wildcats in volleyball since 1983. The Wildcats started off slow in the first set, losing by a score of 25-17, only managing a .023 hitting percentage to SFA’s .184. ACU would not have a hitting percentage drop below a .224 for the rest of the night, as the Wildcats stormed back and took the second and third set by the scores of 25-23 and 25-17 respectively.
The Lumberjacks showed some life again, as they hit a .318 in the fourth set, which was able to best the Wildcats and their .238 hitting percentage by the score of 25-21. But ACU showed why they are now 5-0 at home as they took the fifth set 15-12.
Sophomore Kendall Bosse tore up the stat sheet with a game-high 52 assists and added 20 digs as well. Sophomore Jacey Smith had a team-high with 18.5 points and 16 kills, followed by Sophomore Lauren Walker with 14. Senior Lexi Mercier had five blocks to lead the team, followed by Walker and Smith with three apiece. Freshman Amanda Chapa had a game-high 27 digs on the night. As a team, the Wildcats had 93 digs in the game.
“We have a whole team that is getting the job done, working hard for each other, that’s about as much as any coach could ask.” Bibler said.
Saturday, the Wildcats’ perfect home record was tested again in another five-set victory. The Bearkats led the game in every statistic, except for aces, but ACU made several crucial plays to stay in the game and win the game three sets to two.
After a sluggish first set in which the Wildcats lost 25-16, they were able to win the next two sets 25-20 and 25-21. The Bearkats would go on to tie the game at two sets apiece after winning the fourth set 25-15. But shaking off the fourth set, the Wildcats were able to make it a game tying it at 5-5, and working through two lead changes before earning a 15-12 victory. On the day, Sam Houston posted a good hitting percentage of .281 to ACU’s .207.
Smith led the team again in points with 19.5 and kills with 18. Mercier had the second most kills on the night with 12 and added four blocks to her stat line as well. Bosse recorded a double-double with 46 assists, 15 digs, and two blocks.
“I think it gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Bibler said. “We haven’t always played our best at times, but we are pushing past those moments and making the plays we need to in order to win sets and matches.”
At 6-3 in conference play, the Wildcats find themselves tied for third place with Northwestern State. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi holds the top spot with a perfect record of 8-0, followed by Stephen F. Austin with a 5-2 record.
Smith and Bosse were both recognized for their efforts this past week. Smith was named an honorable mention for Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while Bosse was named honorable mention for Southland Defensive Player of the Week.