The Moody Magic lives on as ACU finished the 2016 season 9-0 at home with its sweeps of Nicholls State and McNeese State over the weekend. The Wildcats finished out their season on a four-game winning streak, a season-high for the squad. The Wildcats have won 10 sets in a row and have also won 12 of the last 13 sets.
The first win on the weekend, against Nicholls gave the Wildcats double-digit victories in the Southland Conference with 10. Which was already the most wins the team has had in conference since joining the SLC back in 2013. Last season was their previous best with a 9-7 record. The win over McNeese extended the victories to 11, giving the Wildcats a 11-5 record for the year in conference.
On Thursday, the Wildcats jumped out to a fast start in the first set. They used a good attack game and limited Nicholls’ opportunities to take the first set 25-17. The second set started off slow for the Wildcats, as the Colonels shot out to a 7-1 lead. But ACU was able to chip away at the lead to tie the game at seven all, before going on their own 6-1 run to give themselves a good cushion.
ACU would not look back as they took the second set 25-22. The third set started off with a lot of back-and-forth scoring early, but ACU would go on another 6-1 run and eventually get themselves an eight-point lead twice. The Wildcats eventually took the third set 25-18.
ACU posted a .222 hitting percent and committed 17 errors on the night, while Nicholls was held to a .076 hitting percent and committed 22 errors.
Senior Dorothy Swanson led the game in kills with 14, she also had 12 digs, which gave her a double-double and also added two blocks to her stat line on the night. Senior Lexi Mercier recorded a game-high in blocks with six. Sophomore Kendall Bosse led the game with 38 assists and freshman Amanda Chapa led the game with 18 digs.
ACU finished its season against McNeese on Saturday. The Wildcats started off hot and made it to match point before the Cowgirls started to put things together on offense, but ACU denied them much else after McNeese cut the lead down to 5, and ACU won the set 25-19. McNeese would keep the second set much closer, even having a three-point lead twice during the set, but ACU would rattle off a 5-0 run that it didn’t look back on as they won took the second set 25-22. The Cowgirls and Wildcats fought to a 24-22 match point in favor of McNeese, but the Wildcats took advantage of Cowgirls’ hitting errors and added a few clutch blocks to steal this one from McNeese, winning it 26-24.
The Wildcats posted a season-high 16 blocks to help cover up their sub-par .167 hitting percent and limited the amount of errors they had to 13. McNeese would only manage a .043 hitting percent, while committing 33 errors.
ACU had the top-four players in the game for blocks, with Mercier leading the game with seven blocks, followed by freshman Courtney Miller, who had five, and Bosse and freshman Marybeth Sandercox, who each had four.
With the wins, the Wildcats finish the season in full control of third place in the Southland Conference. Stephen F. Austin finished in second place, one-game ahead of the Wildcats, while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi never loosened their grip on first place with a perfect 16-0 record in conference games.