The Wildcats met the Sam Houston Bearkats for the second time this season, ultimately falling , 1-3.
After this weekend, ACU now has a 7-17 overall record with a 4-8 conference record.
In the first set, Sam Houston won by a close margin, 25-20. Yet, ACU was able to bounce in the second set to gain the win, 25-22. The third set was taken by a greater deficit by the Bearkats, 25-14, giving Sam Houston the momentum to finish out the game. But the Wildcats did not back down in the fourth set, where they put up a fight until the end, but Sam Houston was able to pull away, 26-24.
“I told the girls before we even started the game,” head coach Alisa Blair said.” That they were going to protect their court on a senior night and they definitely seized the opportunity. We did not but this was definitely not something that I didn’t feel like our girls could respond back from.”
Despite the loss, the Wildcat offense did not hesitate. Bryley Steinhilber, sophomore outside hitter from Kennedale, recorded 17 kills, making this her 14th game of the season marking over 10 kills in one game and her second-highest-recording game. Breanna Box, senior middle blocker from Wichita Falls, and Ashli Edmiston, freshman outside hitter from Wilsonville, Oregon, both recorded nine kills, helping the Wildcats push their dominant offense.
Madison Rohre, red-shirt senior setter from Woodway, and Madeline Guffy, sophomore setter from Krum, recorded a combined 49 assists out of the Wildcat’s total assists of 55. Rohre has recorded over 20 assists in 12 games this season, while Guffy has recorded over 30 assists in three games.
“I think us being terminal,” Blair said. “We can’t just be a defensive team and we were doing a decently good job playing defense so turning on the offense on our side and keeping our defense.”
Defensively, ACU did not fall far behind Sam Houston. Andie Sheppard, red-shirt sophomore outside hitter from Midland, tallied 18 digs, adding to the Wildcat’s total of 75 digs, closely behind the Bearkats’ 77 digs.
Sam Houston had strong competitors fighting through the whole game. Avery Fowler recorded 27 assists while Hannah Baker tallied 26 digs. The Bearkats had three players record over 10 kills, adding to their 58 total kills.
“We definitely have to be determined,” Blair said. “We talked about this that it’s kind of in our hands now so we have to win the two to even think we have a shot to get into the conference tournament. It’s still a battle.”
The Wildcats finish out their conference play over the weekend, taking on the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Edinburg, streaming on ESPN+. They then head to Las Cruces, New Mexico to face New Mexico State at 2 p.m., streaming on WAC International.