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CAC VOLLEYBALL | One win away from conference title

Central Arkansas Christian’s volleyball team opened the week needing one more win to secure the 4A-Central conference championship and the top seed for next week’s district tournament.

Ken Roberts’ Lady Mustangs (14-3, 11-1) played host to Lonoke on Tuesday for Senior Night. They survived the Lady Jackrabbits the first time, 19-17 in the fifth game. CAC will close the regular season Thursday at Heber Springs, a team the Lady Mustangs beat in three games the first time.

CAC has lost only to Batesville Southside in conference play.

Last week the Lady Mustangs beat Clinton, 25-15, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-9, and Pulaski Robinson, 25-7, 25-4, 25-10.

“We have played to the level of our competition,” Roberts said. “We won the first game against Clinton fairly easily, and I think our girls thought, ‘We’ve got this.’ We had trouble with consistency, so that was the emphasis for Robinson, and that was the first match all year that we really played like we should. We didn’t take off any games; we worked hard for all three games.

“That was encouraging to see them maintain some consistency and focus.”

Clinton had pushed CAC to four close games in the first meeting.

The Lady Mustangs had prevailed over Robinson the first time, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22. This time, Roberts challenged his team to limit the Senators to fewer than 25 points for the match, and the Lady Mustangs did so, allowing just 21 points in three games.

“We didn’t stay focused all the way through the first time,” Roberts said. “This time, they maintained their consistency all the way through. I was really pleased.”

The 4A-Central District Tournament will run Monday through Wednesday at Lonoke. CAC has already secured a bye to the semifinals (and with that the automatic berth to the Class 4A State Tournament), so the Lady Mustangs won’t play until Tuesday. The championship is set for Wednesday.

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