Central Arkansas Christian’s volleyball team passed two more tests last week — including their longest road trip of the year — to improve to 12-3 overall and 9-1 in the 4A-Central.

Ken Roberts’ Lady Mustangs beat Maumelle, 25-16, 25-17, 25-14; and won at Marianna, 25-12, 25-20, 17-25, 25-12, to solidify their hold on first place in the conference race. They played Clinton on Tuesday and will travel to Pulaski Robinson on Thursday. They’ll celebrate Senior Night on Tuesday, Oct. 15 against Lonoke and finish the regular season at Heber Springs on Thursday, Oct. 17.

"I’m hoping our improvement will continue and we’ll finish strong," Roberts said Sunday. "Positive play is contagious, and negative play is contagious. It seems like if we miss a serve, we miss three. In the first game against Marianna, we didn’t miss a serve. The game they beat us, we missed three in a row.

"It’s amazing how much volleyball is a game of momentum. Once you get a run going, one way or the other, things tend to fall in place."

He said his team set the tone for the week with the straight-set win over Maumelle. He had been a bit leery of the trip to Marianna, the longest of the season, but except for a letdown in the third game, the Lady Mustangs showed maturity.

"We won the first game, 25-12, and they came out (afterward) feeling pretty good about themselves," Roberts said. "I think they relaxed in the third and didn’t play very well, but it woke them up a little bit. That was encouraging — they came home feeling better about themselves because they came back and took care of business."

CAC beat Clinton the first time in four games, Robinson in three, Lonoke in five and Heber Springs in three.

Generally, Roberts has been able to mark his team’s improvement since the first meeting in the second half of the conference round-robin schedule.

"We played better against Maumelle than we did the first time, and even though Marianna beat us a game, it was at their place, and there’s no place like home," he said. "That had something to do with it, but we did play better against them this time."