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Volleyball bounces back to sweep TCU


Texas State junior defensive specialist Kayla Granado (6) prepares to serve the ball across to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock during a game, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 3-0 against the Trojans.

After coming up short in its last contest, Texas State volleyball (26-3 overall, 15-1 Sun Belt) beat the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (1-11 overall, 1-9 Big 12) in a 3-0 sweep on Feb. 27.

The Bobcats got off to a hot start as they went up 4-0 early in the first set leading to a timeout by TCU. Out of the break, the Horned Frogs got on the board but the Bobcats scored five straight points to bring the score to 9-2. The run featured two aces by Texas State by junior middle blocker Jillian Slaughter.

TCU answered back by scoring three straight points, capped off by a kill from senior libero Dani Dennison, to make the score 9-5.

Texas State went on to have five of the next seven points, three of which came from errors by TCU, to extend the lead to 14-7. The Horned Frogs called a timeout yet that didn’t slow down the Bobcats as they went on a 6-2 run, finished off by a kill from junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald to bring the lead to 20-9. A kill by sophomore outside hitter Caitlan Buettner gave the Bobcats the first set 25-14.

TCU came into the second set with a solid 8-3 start. Sophomore middle blocker Afedo Manyang and junior middle blocker Katie Clark each had two kills in that span.

Texas State managed to score five unanswered points, finished off by two kills from senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott to tie the set 9-9. TCU took a timeout yet the ‘Cats kept coming with another kill from Scott, an attack error by Clark and two kills by Buettner to take the lead 13-9, ultimately leading to another Horned Frogs’ timeout.

This time after the break, the Horned Frogs went on a 4-0 run to tie the set at 13-13. Both teams continued to trade blows for the remainder of the set but kills by Buettner and Fitzgerald finished it 25-22, to give the Bobcats a 2-0 match lead.

Both teams came into the third set playing neck-and-neck as a kill by Manyang gave TCU a 9-8 lead. However, five consecutive errors by the Horned Frogs, four of which came on the attack, put Texas State ahead 13-9.

The Bobcats managed to extend that lead to 21-16 via kills by freshman outside hitter Daleigh Ellison and junior setter Emily DeWalt. Both teams continued trading blows but a kill by Ellison finished the set 25-19 and gave the Bobcats a 3-0 sweep.

Head Coach Sean Huiet says the Bobcats have had a difficult start to the spring season yet he believes they came out with a different energy in this match.

“I am excited with how we executed today,” Huiet says. “We had been in a little funk since coming back from the break and it felt good to perform like we knew we could. I am so proud of how we rebounded, refocused, and played clean volleyball today.”

Buettner led the Bobcats with 10 kills (.400), followed by Fitzgerald with nine (.316). Scott and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Teske each had eight kills with a .467 hitting percentage. DeWalt led the match with 33 assists and Slaughter had three aces.

On defense Buettner led with nine digs, followed by Teske with eight. Junior libero Kayla Granado and senior setter Brooke Johnson each had seven digs.

For TCU, Clark (.353), Manyang (.222) and sophomore outside hitter Audrey Nalls (.115) each had eight kills. Freshman setter Alyssa Heist led the Horned Frogs with 22 assists. Dennison led the team with 13 digs followed by Heist with eight.

Texas State will continue its road stretch against Kansas State University at 6 p.m. on March 4 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.

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