The volleyball team finished its best season in the Southland Conference on a four-game winning streak. The Wildcats went 12-19 in the regular season, which is their best overall record since 2012, the year before joining the Southland Conference.
ACU found great success in conference play, going 11-5 against conference opponents. This was the team’s best season in the Southland, beating out last year when they went 9-7. The Wildcats used a strong home stand on the season to propel them into third place in the SLC, as ACU went a perfect 9-0 in Moody Coliseum. The success at Moody caused fans to coin the term Moody Magic when they talk about the games at home. And magic it was as the Wildcats had several late-set come backs to keep that perfect home record intact.
ACU is in its last year of being able to compete in postseason play, but that doesn’t mean it can’t bring home some awards. Sophomore outside hitter Jacey Smith was honored by being named to the Second Team all-Conference and senior middle blocker Lexi Mercier received an honorable mention for the Southland Conference.
Smith finished the year ranked seventh in the Southland Conference averaging 2.89 kills per set. She had 10 or more kills in 20 games this season and set a career high with 21 in the Wildcats’ loss to Omaha. Smith appeared in 31 games, while only missing one of the 113 sets played. Smith finished the year with a team-high 379.0 points. Smith currently averages a 2.44 kills per set in her two years of collegiate play.
This is the second time that Mercier has been an honorable mention in her four-year career. She, like Smith, appeared in all 31 games and missed one set to total 112 sets played on the year. Mercier ranked sixth in the Southland Conference with 1.09 blocks per set. This year she had a new season-high for her career with 203 kills and collected 279.0 points on the year as well. Mercier also finishes her career ranked fifth all-time in ACU history with 469 blocks.
Other notable Wildcats are, sophomore middle blocker Lauren Walker, who had a .235 hitting percent on the year. Her totatl rose to a .328 hitting percent in conference games, and she finished just behind Mercier in blocks per set with 1.08 to finish eighth in conference. Walker only appeared in 24 games this year, missing some time with an injury. In that time, she still managed to get 226.5 points.
Sophomore setter/outside hitter Kendall Bosse finished ninth in the conference with her 8.01 assists per set. Bosse, who played in 109 sets and 30 games this season, had 236 digs to go along with her 873 assists on the year. She finished with 181.5 points on the year.
In her first year of collegiate play, freshman libero Amanda Chapa finished fifth in the conference with 4.62 digs per set. Chapa played in 28 matches and appeared in 103 sets, in which time she 476 digs.
Senior outside hitter Dorothy Swanson played in all 31 games this year and appeared in 111 of the 113 sets played. She totaled 97.5 points on the year, with 20.5 of those coming from the Wildcats game against Houston Baptist back, Nov. 3. Swanson also had 253 digs on the year and had a .188 hitting percent.
In conference game only statistics, ACU finished eighth in the conference in hitting percent with a .195, but was able to hold their opponents to a conference third best .161. The Wildcats also finished second in the conference in blocks per set with a 2.77, 0.04 behind Stephen F. Austin for the lead. The Wildcats also did well at the service line, posting the fifth best average in conference with a 1.36 per set.
When ACU begins its first year of playoff eligibility next year, it will return all but two players in Swanson and Mercier.