Texas State volleyball lost to the University of North Texas Mean Green in a 3-0 sweep on Feb. 22.
This is the Bobcats’ first loss since their regular-season finale on Nov. 14, 2020, where the team also suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks.
In the first set, the Mean Green took an early 2-0 lead yet the Bobcats came back with a 7-2 run capped off by an ace from senior setter Brooke Johnson to lead 7-4.
UNT scored six of the next seven points finished off with a kill by senior outside hitter Barbara Martin to grab the lead 11-8. An ace by Martin extended the Mean Green’s lead to 13-10.
The Bobcats came back with an 11-3 run to take back the lead 21-17 off a kill by junior setter Emily DeWalt. During the run, junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald had three kills.
UNT scored five unanswered points to take the lead 22-21 off an ace from senior setter Kaliegh Skopal. A kill by Texas State sophomore outside hitter Caitlan Buettner tied the set 22-22, yet UNT scored three straight points to end the first set 25-22.
The Mean Green got off to a 5-0 start in the second set as they scored four points via Texas State’s errors. The Bobcats had a 3-0 run to bring the score to 5-3. UNT answered back with a 3-0 run of their own to extend their lead to 8-3.
With UNT leading 15-9 in the second set, Texas State strung together a 6-2 run, capped off by two kills from senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott to bring the score within two points 17-15.
This is as close as the Bobcats would get as the Mean Green finished the set with an 8-2 run to win 25-17.
Texas State came back with an aggressive attack in the third set, as it met UNT blow-for-blow. With the Mean Green leading 14-13, the Bobcats came back with four straight points to give them a 17-14 and some mild breathing room.
The Bobcats could not breathe for long as the Mean Green tied the set at 17-17 via a kill from junior outside hitter Rhett Robinson. A kill by Texas State junior outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford stalled UNT as the Bobcats took back the lead 18-17. UNT responded with a 5-1 run to take the lead 22-19.
Kills by Rutherford, Scott and junior middle blocker Jillian Slaughter brought the Bobcats within striking distance at 23-22, but the Mean Green finished the set 25-22 to win the match 3-0.
Despite the loss, the Bobcats’ big three of DeWalt, Scott and Fitzgerald put up impressive numbers. DeWalt had a match-high 34 assists, Scott had 15 kills (.444) and Fitzgerald had 11 kills (.222) with two block assists. Buettner finished the day with a team-high 11 digs.
For UNT, Martin (.269) and Robinson (.148) led the Mean Green with 10 kills apiece. Martin also led the team with five aces. Skopal had 24 assists with three digs and two aces. Sophomore defensive specialist Aleeyah Galdeira had a match-high 14 kills.
Texas State will now face Texas Christian University at 1 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.