The Wildcats started their final home Western Athletic Conference week strong with a 3-0 sweep against the Seattle U Redhawks on Thursday but ended with a 3-1 loss to the Utah Valley Wolverines on Saturday on Senior Day.
Head coach Alisa Blair’s Wildcats currently stand in tenth out of 13 with three games before the WAC Tournament on Nov. 17-19 in Edinburg at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Fieldhouse. The Wildcats still have a chance to qualify for the tournament as five teams, including ACU, have four WAC wins in the standings.
Blair’s Wildcats started their WAC week off against the Seattle U Redhawks, ending in a 3-0 sweep on Thursday. The win was the first time this year ACU had won back-to-back WAC matchups with three wins of their last four. ACU’s defense was aggressive as they held the Redhawks to a .110 hitting percentage while having a .185 hitting percentage of their own. The Wildcats took the first two sets 25-22 and 25-23 before sealing the sweep with a 25-17 set three win.
“Our girls are doing a really good job of protecting our house,” Blair said. “They’re doing a really good job of knowing the game plan and just making sure that each team we play is different and we are going to capitalize on our game plan.”
Continuing her efficient freshman campaign was outside hitter Ashli Edmiston, freshman from Wilsonville, Oregon, leading all Wildcats with ten kills for her 14th double-digit kill outing of the year. With those ten kills, Edmiston is one of four freshmen to obtain at least 200 kills as a freshman and needs 47 more to have the most kills in a season for an ACU freshman at the Div. I level. Middle blocker Brea Box, senior from Wichita Falls, tallied six kills on a .462 hitting percentage.
“We just need to keep rolling,” Box said. “Confidence levels are going up and we need to keep that up because we’re a good team especially when we’re playing confidently. I really want to defend our home court one more time because it’s our home where I’ve been for four years.”
The Wildcats turned around for a Senior Day matchup against Utah Valley on Saturday. ACU started strong with a 25-20 set one win before dropping sets two, three and four to lose 3-1. In the fourth set, ACU battled before falling 29-27. Leading the way for the Wildcats was middle blocker Braden Bossier, junior from Fairfield, with 14 kills on 24 attacks for a .542 hitting percentage.
Despite the loss, ACU honored six seniors – setter Madison Rohre from Woodway, middle blocker Brea Box from Wichita Falls, outside hitter Londyn Gray from Weatherford, Logan Browning, outside hitter Jada Birkel from Austin and right side Rachel Crismore from Brackettville.
“It’s going to be an emotional day,” Blair said after the win over Seattle U. “It’s always an emotional day with seniors because it’s their last hurrah at home playing in front of their last home crowd.”
Following the week, ACU has one match next weekend against Sam Houston (6-19 , 3-8) on Nov. 5th on the road. ACU has gone 4-4 at Moody this year but are 1-7 on the road. In their lone matchup this year, the Wildcats took the five-set thriller win over the Bearkats on Sept. 22 at Moody Coliseum. Now, SHSU is 3-8 and stands at 12th out of 13 in the WAC with seven straight losses.
The Wildcats head to Huntsville to take on the Bearkats at 1 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.