ABILENE – Despite attracting one of the largest and loudest home crowds for an Abilene Christian volleyball match in recent memory, the Wildcats couldn’t curb their series losing streak to Texas Tech, which won Tuesday night’s match at Moody Coliseum by scores of 25-10, 25-20 and 25-18.
The announced crowd of 2,287 was significantly larger than the Wildcats’ last home match vs. Tech on Sept. 10, 2013 (1,310) and had the stands rocking at first serve. Unfortunately, the visitors jumped out to a 3-0 lead and later utilized a 13-1 run to capture the first set.
The Wildcats again trailed early in the second set, but after stringing together several runs of three or more points they tied the score at 19-19 on a block by seniors Lauren Walker and Jacey Smith.
Smith then gave her side their first lead since 3-1 with one of her six kills. But after taking that 20-19 advantage, and the crowd firmly on its feet, the Red Raiders popped its proverbial balloon with a set-ending 6-0 run.
In the third set, the Wildcats got no closer than three points of the lead after starting in a 4-0 hole.
Texas Tech posted a .263 attacking percentage with Emily Hill scoring 10 of her team’s 52 points. Katy Keenan also was solid at the net, registering nine kills (.583) and a game-high seven block assists to lead the Red Raiders with 12.5 points.
ACU outblocked the Red Raiders, 8-7, with Walker finishing the match with five block assists and five kills. Senior setter Kendall Bosse also had a hand in three rejections to go with her 20 assists, but the team overall hit below .100 as 23 attack errors nearly negated ACU’s 28 kills.
Smith shared the team lead in kills with junior and Lubbock native Marybeth Sandercox (Frenship HS).
The Wildcats return to action this weekend for the Texas State Creeds and Crests Classic. ACU will play UTSA Friday at noon and twice Saturday vs. James Madison (10 a.m.) and the host Bobcats (6:30 p.m.)