New head coach Alisa Blair and the Wildcats (0-2) head to the Missouri Tournament this weekend searching for their first win of the season after losing both last weekend in the Lobo Invitational.
Blair started her Wildcats era with a 3-0 loss to Cal State Fullerton on Aug. 26. Freshman outside hitter Ashli Edmiston led all Wildcats with 12 kills and 14 digs in her debut. Edmiston was one of four different Wildcats who racked up double-digit digs.
As a team the Wildcats had 65 digs, tied for the fourth-most in a three-set match in the Div. 1 era and the most since 2019 when they had 63 against McNeese.
Following the loss to the Titans, the Wildcats won the first set of their match 25-20 against New Mexico on Aug. 27, but dropped the next three sets to lose 3-1. The hot Wildcats start was the first time ever in four matchups that ACU won a set against the Lobos.
Sophomore transfer setter Madeline Guffy notched her second double-double of the season with 15 assists and 13 digs. Guffy totaled a team-high 17 assists and ten digs against the Titans.
ACU’s dig dominance continued with the team tallying 89, the most-ever in a four-set match in the Div. 1 era and ties for the sixth-most digs in any match.
The Wildcats have a chance to bounce back in a three-game tournament this weekend against Missouri (1-2), Northwestern State (2-1) and Missouri State (1-2).
Missouri started their year off with a 3-2 win against Northern Kentucky to open the South Dakota tournament on Aug. 26-28. However the Tigers fell in their next two to No. 4 Louisville 3-0 and 3-2 to South Dakota.
Northwestern State started their year off at the Tarleton State Texan Invitational winning two out of three. The Lady Demons came out on top with a 3-2 win over the Louisiana-Monroe and a 3-2 win over Fairleigh Dickinson but lost to the home team Tarleton State Texans 3-0.
Missouri State had a hard fought first weekend in the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational on Aug. 26-28. They opened their year with a 3-1 win over Tennessee Tech but lost two competitive matches 3-2 to Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts.
For the Wildcats to come away with wins this weekend, they have to continue their aggressive digs. ACU has done a great job of being aggressive on their digs so far with senior libero Logan Browning setting a career high 24 digs against the Lobos. Despite the solid defense, Blair’s offense has struggled, hitting .145 against the Lobos and .112 against the Titans.
Blair has a relatively young program with nine underclassmen and eight upperclassmen. Tournaments like the Missouri Tournament are a good opportunity for the first time head coach to learn more about what her team has to offer over the year.
ACU has a doubleheader on Sept. 2 at Missouri at 12:30 and at Northwestern State at 3 p.m. The team will finish the tournament against Missouri State at 10 a.m. on Sept. 3.
We were unable to receive a quote from Coach Blair at this time.