The Wildcats broke their second-longest losing streak of the season Saturday when they defeated University of the Incarnate Word in Moody Coliseum.
Head coach Kellen Mock emphasized the importance of that win.
“It was a good thing to leave Moody Coliseum with a win in the 2012 season,” she said. “It was a big boost going into a couple of weekends on the road where we’ve got to win to go to the conference tournament.”
“For placement in the conference tournament, we had to win that match,” said junior outside hitter Madelyn Robinett. “Hopefully we can take that performance and run with it.”
The victory ended a stretch where the ‘Cats had won only one set out of their past 13. For the week, ACU had a record of 1-2. They lost to both Texas A&M University-Commerce (25-23, 25-23, 30-28) and Texas A&M University-Kingsville (25-21, 25-19, 31-29).
The Wildcats are currently sitting at 10-16 overall and 6-10 in the Lone Star Conference. They are seventh in the conference standings out of 11 teams.
Robinett had a breakout game against Incarnate Word. She doubled her season kill total with 10 (.286) for the match.
Robinett also had 18 digs, smacked an ace and recorded a block assist. She finished the match with 11.5 points. The 10 kills were only one shy of her career high 11 against UIW last season.
“I haven’t played on the front row all season but everyone stepped up and made my job easier,” Robinett said. “They really took all the pressure off me.”
“Maddy is one of our captains and is a natural leader,” Mock said. “We feed off her energy and positivity. She was a big reason we won the game on Saturday.”
Senior Kalynne Allen recorded 10 kills in her last game at Moody. Freshman Corrie Reeder had 13.5 points to go along with 12 kills and two blocks.
The squad dug out 79 balls, which is the most this year for a three-set match. Freshman Jennie Loerch had a season-best 15 digs.
Setter Sarah Siemens made her presence known on the court with all but one of the team’s 44 assists.
The ‘Cats won Saturday’s match by scores of 25-23, 26-24 and 25-22 and got even with the Cardinals after being swept by them earlier this season.
ACU lost a close game to Commerce. They let a late four-point lead go down the drain in game one and could not muster a large enough rally in game two.
The Wildcats were one point away from extending the match to a fourth set at 24-22 but, after an Allen kill, the team allowed the Lions to score three-straight points – two on attack errors.
The ‘Cats would grab the lead two more times at 27-26 and 28-27 however, Commerce played with a stubborn attitude and closed the gap each time.
“That match was rough,” Mock said. “We lost the lead at every point we had a chance to win it. We let their one best player beat us.”
“It’s exhausting when the match is so close and you see it fall the other direction,” Robinett said.
The team begins its final stretch of the regular season on the road this weekend. Friday, the squad gets a rematch with Commerce at 7 p.m., and Saturday they face Texas Woman’s University at 2 p.m.
“We’re at a turning point where we either push ourselves further up in the conference standings or we don’t go at all,” Mock said. “We have to focus on winning every game that we can.”
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