By Alexis Patterson
The Texas State Bobcats had an amazing weekend in Sun Belt Conference play. Texas State was able to secure their eight match winning streak Saturday night after sweeping Arkansas State Red Wolves in three straight sets (25-22, 25-21, 26-24). The Bobcats faced off against the Little Rock Trojans the night before and after four fighting sets (25-22, 25-15, 28-30, 25-18) they were able to secure the win.
Little Rock vs. TXST
Both the Bobcats and the Trojans came into Friday night’s match undefeated in the Sun Belt Conference play, but Texas State left the night with a victory. Freshman Janell Fitzgerald led the team in offense with 18 kills, and teammates Madison Daigle, Amy Pflughaupt, and Tyeranee Scott followed with kills in the double digits. The Bobcats started off the night strong dominating the first two sets. The third set gave the Bobcats a run for their money as there were 11 lead changes and a 22 tie scores, the Bobcats fell short that set and extended the night to one more set. Little Rock was fighting hard in the fourth set to continue the night, but the Bobcats were not allowing it. Texas State won the match and claimed their third win in the Sun Belt Conference to stay undefeated in SBC play and ready to take on the powerhouse program of A-State.
Arkansas State vs. TXST
Texas State gave the Red Wolves their second loss of the Sun Belt Conference. Junior Cheyenne Huskey (14 kills, 10 digs) and Freshman Emily DeWalt (43 assists, 10 digs) both end the game with double-doubles. For DeWalt it is her league-leading 11th double-double. Arkansas State started off the first set with a 14-7 lead, but the Bobcats refused to let them keep get away. When the score hit 19-15 in favor of the Red Wolves, Texas State knew it was crunch time and rallied up the points to secure the set win. The Bobcats came out strong during the second set and never let the Red Wolves get more than one point ahead of them. The third set left the fans shaking in their seats as the Red Wolves were fighting hard to push the night to one more set. The score was tied 9-9 and Arkansas State took the lead by at least four points. After the Bobcats managed to tie the score again at 17-17 it was back and forth the rest of the set. Texas State ends the set with a kill from Huskey and secured their match win.
The victories set up the Bobcats going forward for Tuesday night’s pink match against UTA, a team that set Arkansas State out of College Park Center with their first conference loss last Friday. However, from the way that Texas State came out and conquered both the stingiest defense in the Sun Belt and one of the most potent offensive players in A-State’s Carlisa May, Texas State has proven that this could be the year the Bobcats stand tall against the Sun Belt. Head Coach Karen Chisum says the team must now withstand A+ effort every night they suit up because the target is on their back and teams will want to crack the foundation put in place for possible championship success. These are challenges that the Bobcats are ready to face.
Featured image by Tino Manor.