Coming off two previous wins, Texas State volleyball finished off its home series against the University of Louisiana-Monroe with a win 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-12) on Sept. 26 at Strahan Arena.
The undefeated weekend extended the Bobcats’ record to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in Sun Belt play. The game set the team’s highest hitting percentage for the season so far at .380, with 45 total kills throughout the sets. The team served six aces, which is also a record high for the season.
The Warhawks started the first set with a slight lead, but the Bobcats were quickly able to gain control of the first set, going on a 12-point streak to put them up 14-5. Senior Brooke Johnson served for the streak and had two aces. While the Warhawks gained some momentum, the Bobcats held tight on their defense covering the gaps on the court. With two kills from sophomore outside hitter Caitlin Buettner and strategic ball placement from junior setter Emily DeWalt, the Bobcats won the first set 25-14.
Head Coach Sean Huiet said the run was good for the team and is something it always strives for.
“That is something we talk about a lot, can we go back and serve, and how many points can we win consecutively? We talk about being able to go on two runs and then we can trade-off sometimes,” Huiet said. “We like a three-to-five-point run, so going in and giving us a 12-point run was really nice. It gives you that relief that you can relax a little and go after it in other ways.”
Keeping their energy from the first set, the Bobcats quickly gained a lead in the second set with consistent back-row defense from redshirt freshman defensive specialist Kayla Tello and junior defensive specialist Kayla Granado. The Warhawks struggled to cover the Bobcats’ kills throughout the set allowing another set win for the ‘Cats 25-13.
Senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott, who had seven kills, said she thought the front row players took advantage of the ULM defensive gaps to gain points.
“I feel like we really took advantage of [ULM's] middle being very slow. Our pins did a lot of good shots going cross, playing around with the middles’ hands and using high hands when we are hitting,” Scott said.
The third set brought another win for the Bobcats 25-12. Well placed sets from DeWalt allowed for 15 kills from the Bobcats' hitters. The defense remained consistent as it picked up 17 digs. With the Bobcats gaining the lead again, many new faces for the Bobcats were able to get playing time.
“I thought today it didn’t matter when I made the sub; the mission and goal were the same. It’s a catch-22, where you want your starters and some of the players who are playing more to get in a good rhythm and feel good, but knowing some of the stuff we are battling through plus COVID testing, you want people to be ready to go as well,” Hueit said. “We have been having that fine line of balancing that, and I thought today was one of the best outcomes. When we put someone in, they did their job, and we didn’t really skip a beat.”
The Bobcats will go on the road for a weekend series against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Oct. 9-10.