ACU found itself victorious Tuesday evening in a three-game sweep versus the Prairie View A&M Panthers. These three sets were also highlighted by impressive offensive performances from the Wildcats.
Entering the match, the Wildcats had not played a match since their loss to the Oklahoma Sooners on Sept. 14. However, the Panthers were on a stretch where they were 0-13, having only won one set versus NAIA Huston Tillotson.
The first set was opened by the Panthers, holding the Wildcats within grasp until the Wildcats found a 6-0 scoring run. This was a big step in their fine 25-11 win for the Wildcats, wherein they managed a .414 hitting percentage.
In a very error-filled second set, the Panthers seemed to find a better stride by allowing the Wildcats to make eight errors. Though the Panthers had seven errors themselves, the Wildcats held onto the set with a 25-17 win.
The final set was one where the Wildcats benefited from the Panthers’ .000 hitting percentage and eight errors. The Wildcats won the set and match 25-16 and hit .300 in this final set.
Throughout the match, two stories were persistent for the Wildcats, good defense at the net and a wonderful offensive showing. One notable performance came from Lindsey Toney, a senior outside and right-side hitter from New Braunfels.
Toney had an outstanding performance to open the season in the ACU Invitational Tournament. In this tournament, she hit .429 and .328 in two matches and had fallen into a slump lately but turned it around Wednesday night, hitting .857 for a new career-high.
“I think it’s just shot selection and making the right choices,” said head coach Angela Mooney. “That first weekend, she (Toney) was being aggressive, and she was being herself, and as we headed into those next couple of matches, she was letting some of the things in the environment and around her delay her responses at the net.”
Another outstanding performance came from junior transfer outside and right-side hitter Jada Birkel from Austin. Birkel, a transfer from the University of Memphis, hit .500 while racking up eight kills.
Logan Browning, a junior libero and defensive specialist from Wichita Falls, had an impressive game defensively, leading the team with 13 digs.
“I felt like our block was lining up pretty decently, and so it was easier to play defense behind it,” said Browning.
The Wildcats will open conference play on Sept. 30 versus the 9-3 Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks at 6:30 p.m. in Nacogdoches.