Balanced attacked lifts Wildcats over Colonels for first Southland victory
Junior Neely Borger hit .412 on the strength of eight kills and freshman Lexi Mercier blocked eight shots to lead the Abilene Christian volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Nicholls State Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum.
The 25-19, 25-14, 25-20 win snapped a three-match losing streak for ACU (5-7, 1-3 Southland), while the Colonels remain in the Southland Conference basement at 0-4 and 3-11 overall.
Borger led the Wildcats in kills, but Mercier – a freshman – had the most points with 12.0 as she recorded a career high four solo blocks and assisted on four others. She also tied teammates Jennifer Loerch and Eric Lambert for the second-most kills this afternoon with six.
In hitting .229 as a team and holding Nicholls to a mark of .068, the Wildcats never really appeared to feel threatened by the Colonels during the latter stages of any set, and not once did they have burn a timeout. Nicholls ended up with 24 errors on the attack and had an additional 10 from the service line. The Wildcats also delivered four service aces, including two from senior Madelyn Robinett.
After stringing together three points to break a 13-13 tie in game one, ACU maintained its cushion right through to the very end and eventually benefitted from four Colonel attack errors over five possessions that pushed the Wildcat lead out to 24-18. Nicholls made it a five-point game on a kill by Kayla Mashburn, but on her very next attack, she was blocked by Sarah Siemens to end the set.
Siemens finished with three blocks and three kills to go along with her 25 assists.
Game two was very much a rout from start to finish as the Colonels made eight attacking errors, but they hung in there for much of game three until fading toward the very end.
An attack error by Brooke Fonseca started a 4-0 run for the Wildcats late in game three, which flipped their one-point deficit at 19-18 into a three-point lead at 22-19. The two sides then exchanged points and another attack error, this time by Kayla Bunting, brought the Wildcats to match point. ACU won the match after an attempted save by Madison Hoover floated over the net and found a hole in the Nicholls’ defense.
Hoover dug out 19 attacks to lead the Wildcats. Robinett, Siemens, Loerch and Caley Johnson also finished with 10 or more digs as the Wildcats combined for 67 as a team.
The Wildcats continue their conference schedule next Thursday and Saturday on the road at Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.