Sports

Preview: Texas State vs. Texas

todayApril 7, 2022 35

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By Tabitha Keep
Sports Reporter

The Bobcats will face off against Texas today at 6 p.m. in Strahan Arena during their first complete spring offseason since 2019.

The last time the Bobcats and Longhorns met was in Austin on Sept. 7th. The Longhorns were ranked first in the nation at the time. The match ended with a Bobcat loss of 3-0. Texas almost doubled the 24 kills the Bobcats had in the game with 44. The Bobcats racked up 15 errors compared to the Longhorns’ six. Attacks from both teams were relatively equal, with Texas State finishing with 85 and Texas with 83. The Bobcats could not get any blocks in the game, while Texas got eight.

Jada Gardner, Ryan Torres, and Kayla Granado led Texas State in their last meeting with Texas. Gardner was credited with six kills, Torres with 17 assists, and Granado with nine digs. The Longhorns were led by Logan Eggleston, Asjia O’Neal, and Jhenna Gabriel. Eggleston led with 15 kills and 12 digs, O’Neal with six blocks, and Gabriel with 25 assists. Both teams have a mix of players when it comes to seniority, and Texas has a small team of eight players compared to Texas State’s 20.

Texas State finished first in the Sunbelt Conference’s west division with an overall record of 20-12 and a conference record of 14-2. The Longhorns ended similarly, being first in their conference with a 15-1 record. The Longhorns finished their overall season with an almost perfect record of 27-2. Texas’s longest winning streak was 17 games, while Texas State’s fell just short with 14 games won in a row. Texas State went on to the conference championship losing to South Alabama in the final round, breaking the three-year streak of conference championships. Texas went on to win their fifth Big 12 conference championship in a row.

Players to watch on the Bobcat’s side are Janell Fitzgerald, Emily DeWalt, Granado, and Tyranee Scott. Fitzgerald is one of the Bobcat’s most valuable tools when it comes to offense. She brought in a total of 548.5 points and 483 kills on the season. The first AVCA All-American in Texas State history, DeWalt left the season with 1504 assists. Granado and Scott held down the defense, with Granado racking up 547 digs and Scott with 114 blocks.

Looking at Texas, the players to pay attention to on the offensive side are Eggleston and Gabriel. Eggleston, the VolleyballMag.com and Big 12 player of the year ended the season with 467.5 points earned and 387 kills. Gabriel led in assists with 924. Looking at the defense, Nalani Iosia led with 313 digs. Brionne Butler leads the way in blocks garnering 115 on the season.

Texas State has never beaten the Longhorns in any of their 12 matchups since 2004. The upcoming match against Texas will be the Bobcat’s second to last of their offseason schedule, and they will finish it out in San Antonio against UTSA on Saturday.

Featured Image by Khalid Althareth

Written by: ktsw899

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