Huffman
UCM

WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- Central Missouri escaped the first round with a 3-2 win against Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Abilene Christian won the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-21, before losing the next three, 25-8, 25-14 and 15-7, to see its season end. 

Central Missouri improves to 28-4 on the season and moves on to face Angelo State. Abilene Christian finished its campaign at 21-14.

Central Missouri senior Allie Huffman led the Jennies with 16 kills and 11 digs, while Goodness also had 16 kills and a .368 attack percentage.  Paula Harris and Bradye Peniston each had 14 kills for the Jennies, while Julia Bates had 53 assists, five kills, nine digs and four blocks from the setter position.

The Wildcats took charge in the first two sets, thanks to an offense that hit .325 and had 28 kills against just five attack errors. Abilene Christian never trailed in the first set and finished the 25-22 win with a kill by Kalynne Allen.

Central Missouri got the upper hand in the second game, pushing their lead to 15-8 on a kill by Taylor Goodness.  But Abilene Christian rallied, outscoring the Jennies 17-6 the rest of the way to take the 25-21 win and a 2-0 lead.

But from there on out, the Jennies proved why they're the nation's sixth-ranked team and top-seeded team in the regional tournament. They outscored Abilene Christian 65-29 in the last three sets and hit a combined .374 during that span.

The Jennies committed just five total attack errors in the final three sets while collecting 39 kills. Abilene Christian, meanwhile, had 18 errors and 20 kills and hit .023 in the final three sets.

Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year Sarah Oxford led the Wildcats with 13 kills and hit .367 in the match, while senior Jennie Hutt -- in the last match of her ACU career -- had 10 kills and 12 digs.  Senior libero Kelsie Edwards -- Abeline Christian's all-time leader in career digs -- finished the night with 29 digs to lead the Wildcat defense.