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CAC VOLLEYBALL | Mustangs start season with wins

Central Arkansas Christian’s volleyball team opened the season with a pair of wins last week in a tri-match with Arkansas Baptist and Harding Academy.

Ken Roberts’ second varsity squad swept Baptist in two and went three games with Harding. Both were best two-of-three.

“We served really well for it to be this early in the season,” Roberts said Sunday. “Our biggest weakness was serve receive, so we’ve got a lot of work to do on getting our passing game going.”

The Lady Mustangs opened 4A-Central play Tuesday as Riverview visited Mustang Mountain. They’ll continue conference play Thursday when they travel to Lonoke.

“I don’t know that much about Lonoke except that they were really good last year and took us to five games,” Roberts said of the Lady Jackrabbits, who fell in the first round of the Class 4A State Tournament to Valley View, the eventual champion, 25-11, 25-8, 25-5.

CAC reached the quarterfinals.

“They have lots coming back, and we lost several,” Roberts said of Laura Park’s Lady Jackrabbits. “I’m anxious to see how we match up. I think we’re better in the middle, but I’m not sure about all the way around.”

Six seniors lead Lonoke in Park’s 27th season atop the program.

Roberts praised the play last week of senior middle blocker Julia Faulkner and senior outside hitter Rachel Basham.

“Julia played (junior varsity) last year so this is her first year to play varsity,” he said. “She had several blocks against Harding. Rachel moved from the middle to outside, and it’s going to take her a while to adjust, but she’s our team captain and has really taken the lead on the court.”

The Lady Mustangs are scheduled to play host to Southside Batesville, the only team they lost to last year in conference play, on Tuesday, Sept. 2, but Roberts said Sunday that match would likely be rescheduled to avoid a conflict with the Mustangs’ football opener against Arkansas Baptist at War Memorial Stadium.

“We’re starting to get everything together,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of good practices, and I’m anxious to see what happens (in conference play).”

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