Bobcats sweep no. 13 ranked Houston winning the Texas State Invitational

todaySeptember 4, 2023 35 6

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By Daven Meredith

Sports Reporter

SAN MARCOS — Texas State Volleyball (4-1) wins the Texas State Invitational with wins against The University of North Texas Eagles (3-3) and an upset against the No.13 ranked University of Houston Cougars (4-1) in the Texas State invitational at Strahan Arena.

Bobcats celebrate after set win over North Texas Eagles.
Bobcats celebrate after set win over North Texas Eagles. | Audrey Pasillas

Game one

Outside hitters KJ Johnson and Samantha Wunsch combined for 30 kills propelling the Bobcats to a comeback win in their home opener Thursday against the North Texas Eagles at Strahan Arena. Coach Sean Huiet was happy to get the first official home win of the 2023 season.

“We like to win at home; we like to feel good at home,” Huiet said. “This group has grinded it out, and we are starting to see some of it come to fruition on the court. I am really proud of how they rebounded tonight.”

The Bobcats got off to a rough start, dropping the first two sets. The first on a nail-biter 25-27 just to get blown out in the second set by their worst deficit of the night, 25-16. Coach Sean Huiet credited the Bobcats’ initial struggle to the Eagles’ physicality.

“North Texas is a good team,” Huiet said. “They have some real physical athletes, and we were very frustrated with our block after the first two sets.”

The Bobcats would come out of intermission looking like a new team finishing the night with 14 blocks and winning three straight sets forcing the Eagles to five, taking the game three sets to two.

“I told them that we have to win three sets,” Huiet said. “It doesn’t matter what three. This group is so resilient and so tough. I thought we did a really good job rebounding after a rough start.”

Freshman Wunsch recorded 15 kills and credited her performance to setter Ryan Torres, who had 54 assists spreading the Bobcats’ attack, propelling them to the win.

“I think Ryan was doing an awesome job the whole night being able to spread the offense around when the block wasn’t there,” Wunsch said. “We all stepped up in those last three sets, being able to put a lot more balls down and get a lot more sets.”


Game Two

The Bobcats would have a tall task in game two taking on the No. 13 ranked Houston Cougars. Coach Huiet credited the Cougars for being a well-coached team that attacks any sign of weaknesses.

“We’re gonna go after them,” Huiet said. “We’ve seen them on film, and they are very good. They are well-coached and will go at any weakness they find. Playing the number thirteen team in the nation at home will be a fun match.”

The Bobcats would do just that sweeping the No. 13 ranked Cougars in three sets. Coach Huiet spoke on how implementing a last-minute defense was a counter for the Cougars dominant offense.

“We knew they were going to tip and roll a lot,” Huiet said. “That takes our hitters out of it so we came in 30 minutes early and implemented a new defense and the team went with it and it was the difference.”

The Bobcats looked dominant throughout the first two sets out scoring the Cougars 50-40 but would see a swing of momentum that favored the Cougars. Coach Huiet called a timeout to make sure his team was locked in.

“Houston is a really good team, they didn’t get top thirteen for no reason,” Huiet said. “We wanted to make sure we were going point for point and stay locked in the whole set.”

Bobcats setter Tores recorded 90 assists in two games, 36 coming against the Cougars leading to her selection to the all-tournament team.

“We just followed that scouting report,” Tores said. “Being on the same page as everyone this morning there was great energy when I walked into the gym. We know we have that trust in each other.”

Outside hitter Wunsch followed up her 15-kill performance Thursday with an 11-kill game against Houston awarding her the Texas State Invitational MVP. Wunsch spoke on how everyone who showed up was confident for their matchup against No. 13.

“We kept a positive attitude, stayed composed and confident the whole time,” Wunsch said “I think that’s what gave us the edge over Houston being confident and playing Texas State Volleyball.

The Bobcats hope to use their upset against Houston as momentum heading into the following week as they open up the Bobcat Classic against South Eastern University at Strahan Arena Thursday, Sept. 7 at 6:00 p.m.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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