Nov. 18, 2010

Courtesy of Abilene Christian Athletics

It wasn't easy, but the ACU Wildcats survived a five-set thriller Thursday afternoon, eliminating Truman State (Mo.) in the opening round of the NCAA Division II South Central Region Volleyball Tournament at the Multipurpose Building on the Central Missouri campus.

The Wildcats (27-5) will advance to Friday's 5 p.m. semifinal match where they will play the winner of today's match between the No. 2 seed Washburn Lady Blues and No. 7 Lady Bearcats of Northwest Missouri State.

ACU easily won the first two sets, 25-14, 25-18, before dropping the next two sets by identical 25-19 scores, setting up a fifth and decisive fifth set, which ACU won 15-10.

Truman State jumped on top 6-4 before the Wildcats were able to score three of the next four points to tie the set at 7-7. The Wildcats then ripped off eight of the last 11 points to win the set and the match. The final point came from a block by ACU all-America senior middle blocker Shawna Hines, who stopped an attack from Truman State's Megan Sharpe, giving ACU the win.

Jordan Schilling led the Wildcat with 16 kills and 14 digs, while Jennie Hutt had 14 kills and 19 digs. Hines finished with seven total blocks and five kills, while Kalynne Allen had 10 kills and 16 digs. Senior setter Ijeoma Moronu -- who missed some time in the third set with an ankle injury -- finished with 39 assists, 14 digs and eight kills.