ABILENE, Texas—McNeese volleyball dropped its first match of the season here Thursday in a 3-1 (16-25, 18-25, 25-19, 21-25) Southland Conference loss to Abilene Christian having to play without two key starters.
McNeese (2-1, 2-1 SLC) dropped the first two sets and avoided a straight set loss by taking the third set 25-19 before dropping the fourth set 25-21.
“Today was a tough loss for us,” said head coach Kristee Porter. “Even though we were without our full roster, I thought we should have performed better than we did. It feels like a lost opportunity. Many things are taken out of our control, but we can control how we perform on the court and we didn’t approach the match with the focus I would have liked.”
Playing without starters Regan Stiawalt and Alexis Lambert, the Cowgirls couldn’t find the offense to replace their kill leader (Stiawalt) but did get double figure kills from both Baylee Laskoskie and Kendall Glueck who both ended the match with 13 kills apiece to lead McNeese. Laskoskie ended the day with 10 digs to complete her double double.
Madison Fontenot, Lauren Burt, Jaiden Kennedy and Glueck were all bright spots on defense. Fontenot led McNeese with 18 digs while Burt, Kennedy, and Glueck were credited with six blocks apiece.
Setters Ceci Harness and Caitlin Sharrock dished out 18 and 16 assists, respectively.
ACU’s Katelyn Mueller led all players with a match high 23 digs to go along with 14 digs.
McNeese trailed for most of the fourth set and trailed by as much as five points early on.
With the Wildcats leading 9-5, McNeese scored the next four points to tie the set at nine apiece behind the serve of Harness.
ACU would outscore McNeese 6-2 to take a 15-11 lead but once again the Cowgirls put together a run to even the set at 16 all. The match would tie up five more times, the last being at 21 apiece. ACU would go on to score the final four points of the match to seal the win.
McNeese will remain on the road and will travel to Nacogdoches, Texas for a 1 p.m. match against preseason favorite Stephen F. Austin.