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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 steps up on Senior Night for regular season championship

In+this+file+photo%2C+junior+hitter+%28now+senior%29+Tyeranee+Scott+high+fives+assistant+coach+Chris+Valdez+while+running+off+the+court+during+a+game+against+UT+Arlington%2C+Friday%2C+Nov.+15%2C+2019%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.

In this file photo, junior hitter (now senior) Tyeranee Scott high fives assistant coach Chris Valdez while running off the court during a game against UT Arlington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, at Strahan Arena.

Texas State volleyball secured its second straight regular season championship with a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-14, 25-11) over The University of Texas at Arlington Friday night at Strahan Arena.
In a match that decided the difference between tying for regular season champions or winning outright, honored seniors for Senior Night and marked the final home game of the season, the Bobcats won it all on Friday night. The victory was witnessed by nearly 2,500 people, the 6th largest crowd in program history, and marked their 13th sweep of the season. The Bobcats gave the lead to the Mavericks only once and kept UTA under 20 points in each set for the victory.
The stakes of this game made the team more motivated to win, senior defensive specialist Konner Wood said.
“We didn’t want to share the conference title with anyone,” Wood said. “We knew we needed to come in here and go to work and win this thing ourtright, and that in itself brought energy along with it being Senior Night.”
Texas State drove the Mavs to a timeout early, pushing a 10-6 lead in the first set before taking it 25-19.
The ‘Cats settled in even further in the second and third sets, cruising to a 25-14 win in the second set due to a .419 team hitting percentage.
The third set was characterized by high energy plays, including a last-minute save off of the scoring table from Wood. Wood finished her final regular season game with nine digs, just behind fellow senior libero Micah Dinwiddie’s 11.
Although she saved the ball, Wood said she wasn’t too sure if she’d make it to the scoring table without a fall.
“So I’m running and I can see the score table in front of me and I hear people saying ‘you’re good, you’re good’ and in my head, I’m thinking, ‘I am not good,’” Wood said. “But I got the ball and I was really glad I could save that point.”
A fakeout tip across the court by sophomore setter Emily DeWalt finished the match with a 14-point lead and a 25-11 third set victory.
Wood said that the team’s all-around effort led them to the win.
“I’m really proud of the team,” senior defensive specialist Konner Wood said. “I don’t think there was just one person who stood out (and) I think we all played really well together. I think that was the cleanest we’ve played in a while, and having fans here meant so much.”
Senior Night was named accordingly, with every senior making an appearance in their final regular season game. Senior outside hitter Cheyenne Huskey topped the match with a .429 hitting percentage and 19 kills as well as seven digs and a block, while Dinwiddie and Wood led the defensive front. Huskey and Dinwiddie both received preseason honors before their final year, with Huskey receiving Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Dinwiddie making Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Dinwiddie and Wood are the sole four-year seniors on the team, and have been a part of 95 wins, the most for a class at Texas State in over 30 years. Senior defensive specialist Rylie Fuentes, who transferred from Texas A&M Commerce this season and has since seen several starts, contributed two digs on the match.
Despite their pranks, including papering Chisum’s office for the first time in her 40 years, Chisum said that the class of seniors are talented and vital to the team.
“These are four very good young ladies, and they’re fun to be around,”
Chisum said. “They’re not just great people but they’re talented too.”
In addition to the seniors’ strength, the ‘Cats have had success partially due to their depth, according to Chisum. Junior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott went errorless for the night, matching a career-high .900 hitting percentage and logging nine kills. DeWalt moved the ball seamlessly between hitters, racking up 38 assists as well as five digs, four kills, and two blocks.
Chisum said that the depth from freshmen has been a large factor in their wins.
“I’m pretty confident for all these kids here on the bench and that really makes it nice for the kids that are on the court as well as the coaching staff,” Chisum said. “We’re pretty comfortable with whoever we put in.”
Next up for the Bobcats is the Sun Belt Championship Tournament on their own turf at Strahan Arena beginning on Thursday. The ‘Cats will look to take it all and qualify for the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.
Chisum said that the two consecutive championships make coaching beyond just a job for her.
“I can make it really professional and say that’s my job, but I love it,” Chisum said. “I am really pleased with these kids. These guys are believers.”
The regular season championship earned them a bye in the first few rounds, so the ‘Cats will suit up next against the winner of No. 4 Troy vs. No. 5 Louisiana/No. 8 Arkansas State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Strahan Arena.

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