Texas State volleyball (18-1 overall, 13-0 Sun Belt) defeated Arkansas State University (8-7 Sun Belt) 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-15) in the second game of a triple-header between the teams.
This was the 15th consecutive win and the fifth straight sweep for the Bobcats.
Head Coach Sean Huiet was pleased with how his team played on both ends in the win but wants to make sure his team does not become complacent.
"I am really proud of the defensive effort tonight," Huiet said. "Kayla Granado set the tone for us defensively by digging out nine balls in the first set. That was big for us. Janell [Fitzgerald] carried us offensively, and Emily DeWalt did a great job running the offense and holding the block, creating a lot of 1-on-1 situations for our hitters. We are playing well, but there are some things we can still clean up as we continue to push for our end of season run."
The intensity was apparent in the first set as both teams came up with strong blocks and displayed excellent defensive coverage of the court. Each time one team would start to gain momentum, the other team would quickly respond with a few points of its own.
The Bobcats went on a small run to start the set, going up 3-0; however, the Red Wolves found their rhythm after scoring their first point and managed to keep the point differential to a minimum throughout the rest of the set.
Midway through the set, junior setter Lauren Musante capped off a 3-0 run with a service ace to give Arkansas State its first lead of the game 13-12.
With Texas State leading 23-18, the Red Wolves called a timeout to regroup and try and win the set. Out of the break, Arkansas State went on a 3-1 run to narrow the lead to 24-21.
The Bobcats prevented the comeback and won 25-21 off a kill from junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald led the team with seven kills in the set, followed by junior outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford with five.
Texas State was able to keep Arkansas State on its heels early in the second set. The strength of the Bobcats' hits was too much for the Red Wolves to handle as junior setter Emily DeWalt was able to set up her teammates and assisted on the first five points for Texas State to take a 5-2 lead.
Texas State kept up the pressure and increased its lead over Arkansas State to 12-6. Arkansas State's defense responded and picked up the pace, forcing five Bobcat errors during a 7-0 run to even the score 14-14.
Texas State weathered the storm and went on an 11-4 run to win the set 25-18 and take a 2-0 lead over the Red Wolves.
The 'Cats were led by sophomore outside hitter Lauren Teske who hit 1.00 for five kills and no errors.
The regular dominance of the Bobcats returned in the third set as they set the tone early, jumping out to a 7-1 lead.
Despite the big lead, Texas State never let up and led by as much as 11 points near the end of the set. Arkansas State struggled with miscommunication throughout the final set, leading to nine errors.
DeWalt put the Red Wolves away with a kill assisted by junior libero Kayla Granado as the ‘Cats took the final set 25-15 and won the match 3-0.
Fitzgerald hit .600 and finished with seven kills in the final set.
The Bobcats were able to hold Arkansas State to a .000 hitting percentage for the game. Texas State had 56 digs total, led by Granado with 16. The 'Cats also had seven blocks.
Fitzgerald led the Bobcats in kills with 18 and a .382 hitting percentage. Following Fitzgerald was Teske with nine kills. Overall, the team had 47 kills and a .255 hitting percentage. This kind of offensive output would not be possible without the Sun Belt Setter of the Week DeWalt, who had 38 assists in the game.
This win comes after Texas State swept the Red Wolves 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-20) earlier in the day.
The Bobcats will take on the Red Wolves one more time at 1 p.m. on Nov. 7 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.