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Bobcats finish strong winning back-to-back against a new addition team to the Sun Belt Conference

todayOctober 16, 2022 115 4 4

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By Stephanie Soto

Sports Reporter
The Texas State Volleyball team concludes this weekend by winning two back-to-back games and continuing their winning streak winning against, first time in Sun Belt Conference program history, Southern Miss University Golden Eagles at Strahan Arena. Day 1 (25-21, 25-18, 25-23), Day 2 (25-18, 18-25, 25-16, 25-16).
The Bobcats advance to 15-5 and the Golden Eagles fall to 12-8.
On Friday evening, the Bobcats set the momentum within the first starting points of the first setby being strong offensively, placing the ball in deep corners of the court and executing on serve to receive.
Southern Miss struggled defensively with lining against the Texas State block which caused Texas State access to hit in between the gaps of the blocks and score multiple points tipping the ball slightly right over the block. In previous past games, Texas State struggled with dominating at the start of games due to starting slow performing in serve receive; however, that was not the case this weekend. Head Coach Sean Huiet led his team to be aggressive at the start of the 1st set.

 

TXST Volleyball team prepares the defense during a point in the middle of a match
TXST Volleyball team prepares the defense during a point in the middle of a match. By Stephanie Soto
“Our numbers are really good tonight with spreading the offense out and that is due to our passing,” said Huiet.
Texas State finished Friday’s game 3-0 and overall came on top exceeding Southern Miss in overall kills 47-37 and digging 68-45 stats.
Saturday afternoon Southern Miss was only successful in winning one set with Texas State 3-1. This second game was far more intense regarding a fast pace in defense. Both teams made remarkable saves and carried out amplifying solid blocks at the net.
Texas State hitters #16 Janell Fitzgerald and #18 Lauren Teske dominated in kills and utilized hitting line shots since it took until the second set for Southern Miss to enact a strong outside block. Once Southern Miss adjusted their block, they took the lead tying 1-1 going into the third set.
However, the Golden Eagles became hesitant with communication in the back row and lacked confidence in placing the ball where the Bobcats could not get to.
The fourth set of the night was a fight on both sides of the net and came down to which team had more hustle. Texas State took advantage of tipping right over the block in areas where Southern Miss had to perform body-diving plays.
Bobcats start the counterattack against Southern Miss
Bobcats start the counterattack against Southern Miss. By Stephanie Soto
Throughout the entire two games, #17 starting-setter Emily DeWalt exemplified true volleyball IQ, in which she continuously scored by dumping the ball and pushing the ball into deep corners forcing Southern Miss #20 libero Megan Harris to run line to line attempting to chase down DeWalt’s deep balls. Texas State wore out Southern Miss defensively to the point where Harris had to change jerseys because she was drenched in sweat.
Huiet said starting-setter DeWalt is a key player who “does incredible things that we don’t teach.”
“She’s not done yet; she is going to lead our team to another championship,” said Huiet.
Up-and-coming permanent Bobcat libero #7 Jacqueline Lee showed out her potential in her new position in both games. Lee stayed on her toes, hustled for every ball, and brought high intensity throughout both matches.
“I feel like I’m finally getting that chance to perform and help elevate the energy on the court,” said Lee.
Featured Image by Stephanie Soto.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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