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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Volleyball season ends in bitter-sweet fashion

Texas+State+sophomore+defensive+specialist+Jacqueline+Lee+%287%29+celebrates+with+teammates+during+a+match+against+James+Madison+University%2C+Saturday%2C+Oct.+1%2C+2022%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+tied+the+weekend+series+1-1.%26%23160%3B

Texas State sophomore defensive specialist Jacqueline Lee (7) celebrates with teammates during a match against James Madison University, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats tied the weekend series 1-1. 

The Texas State volleyball squad put together another strong season in the 2022 campaign, finishing with a 14-2 record in the Sun Belt Conference and 24-7 overall.
The successful regular season record for Texas State resulted in the top spot in the West Division and set the Bobcats up for a deep run in the conference tournament.
Texas State was on a six-game winning streak heading into the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Tournament and managed to pick up two crucial victories against Louisiana and South Alabama to propel the Bobcats to their sixth-straight conference championship appearance. 
It was a bittersweet ending to the 2022 season for Texas State, though, as the Bobcats ultimately fell short in the championship game against the top seed in the Sun Belt Conference, James Madison University. 
Head coach Sean Huiet still believes that the team had a successful year, regardless of how things unfolded in the end.
“It’s hard not to just think about the ending, and it wasn’t the ending that we had hoped for, but when you sit down you have some time to reflect, and some of the things that we did as a team,” Huiet said. “It was a successful year. I think when you win your division for the sixth year in a row, and you’re playing in the championship match for the sixth year in a row, it’s hard to be upset with how the season unfolded.”
Huiet believes the team should have been invited to the NCAA tournament considering their dominant season.
“It’s hard to say that it wasn’t a fun and successful year, but it’s still bitter for us to think about the ending, and it was kind of a shocker there by the NCAA Committee to not get into the NCAA tournament, but that’s life,” Huiet said. “That’s what we can’t forget at the end. That’s its life and sometimes life is unfair, we’ve just got to learn from it and move on.”
Junior setter Ryann Torres also believes that the season ended in a bittersweet feeling, but expressed her appreciation for the hard work and dedication that was presented from the entire team.
“We had a lot of success in different areas, and having small successes throughout the entire season just prepared us for tough situations that we overcame, and it was a really strong team,” Torres said. “We’ve been with each other for almost a straight five years.”
The 2022 Texas State roster featured one of the largest and most experienced rosters in the Sun Belt which included two All-American athletes: graduate outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald and graduate setter Emily DeWalt.
Last season also saw these athletes make their mark in Bobcat history, with Fitzgerald breaking the all-time kills record and DeWalt breaking the career assist record.
DeWalt and Fitzgerald posted historical careers at Texas State playing alongside each other for such a long time. As they close out their collegiate careers, they cement their legacy in Bobcat history.
“I think this just puts an exclamation mark on all of their awards. It’s really nice to say, for the first time in school history, we have two All-Americans in the same season,” Huiet said. “It’s a testament to not only their level of play but to their teammates who helped them be so successful.”
Looking forward, Texas State will have to overcome the obstacle of trying to remain competitive after losing more than half of the team’s experience in graduating seniors. Sophomore defensive specialist Jacqueline Lee said the feeling of having to deal with players leaving will be used as motivation. She is ready to take on the responsibility of stepping into a bigger role next year.
“We’ve been used to being such a winning program and being successful, but now we’ve lost half the girls that won the last three championships for us,” Lee said. “So I think it’s everybody wanting to prove the doubters wrong. I think there’s going to be a fire lit under us to prove everybody wrong and continue being competitive.”
Huiet believes that Texas State volleyball’s winning history is going to put a target on the team’s back headed into next year.
“People think that because we lost so many people and we lost a big senior class that we’re not going to be as good, and that’s not the case,” Huiet said. “We have kids that are motivated, and they know what it takes. They saw how good we were this year and that we still fell short of our goal, so they know the work that’s needed to get there.”

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