The Wildcats lost to two of the top five teams in the Lone Star Conference over the weekend. Despite the defeats, the team still has a chance at post season play.
The ‘Cats are currently sitting in eighth place in the LSC. The top eight teams move on to the conference tournament at the end of the season.
“If we win both matches we control our destiny and we’ll go to the conference tournament,” said head coach Kellen Mock. “I can’t come up with a scenario where that wouldn’t be the case. The only way we can guarantee ourselves in is if we win both matches.”
Friday, ACU lost at Texas A&M University-Commerce, 3-1 (25-12, 23-25, 27-25, 25-10). Saturday, the team was swept at Texas Woman’s University, 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 26-24). The Pioneers are in third place in the division at 21-6 overall (14-4).
The Wildcats are now 10-18 overall and 6-12 in the LSC.
Commerce blew out the ‘Cats in sets one and four, but the team came back from a 10-2 deficit in game two to edge out the Lions. Game three was also more competitive.
ACU committed 30 errors on the night compared to just 38 kills. Commerce out-blocked the squad, 15-6.
“We kept the ball in play pretty well offensively,” Mock said. “We would just end the long rally with an error on our end. We had plenty of opportunities to score.”
Senior Kalynne Allen led the Wildcats with 11.5 points. Freshman Jennie Loerch led with 10 kills while junior Madelyn Robinett smashed nine kills and served one ace.
The pioneers are cruising into the postseason. They have won six matches in a row and are fighting with West Texas A&M University and Tarleton State University for second place in the Lone Star Conference.
Loerch and sophomore Sara Oxford combined for almost half of the team’s 45 points against Texas Woman’s (21.5). Loerch had nine kills and two blocks. Oxford recorded an impressive .583 hitting percentage with four blocks.
“Jennie was really on for us at Texas Woman’s,” Mock said. “We relied on her pretty heavily during that game. Oxford did really well in the middle and gave us some extra energy.”
The ‘Cats would not go down easily. They battled the Pioneers through 11 ties and four lead changes in the third set. The team used a 7-2 run to nab its first lead at 14-13.
ACU led 23-22 but TWU ended the match on a 3-1 run.
The final weekend of the regular season begins Friday when the Wildcats take on Cameron University at 7 p.m. in Lawton, Okla. Saturday, they face Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls at 6 p.m.
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