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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 to play UTSA in spring opener

The+Texas+State+volleyball+team+comes+together+in+celebration+after+scoring+a+point+during+the+match+against+the+University+of+Louisiana+at+Lafayette+on+Oct.+17%2C+2020%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+won+3-0.

The Texas State volleyball team comes together in celebration after scoring a point during the match against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Oct. 17, 2020, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 3-0.

The I-35 rivalry will be in full swing on Feb. 10 as Texas State volleyball will face the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners in its spring opener.
Texas State will look to build off of a dominant fall campaign where the team won its third straight Sun Belt Conference Championship. In the fall, the Bobcats went 24-2 and had a 15-1 record in conference play.
The matchup against UTSA will be the first of Texas State’s 14 spring matches in preparation for the NCAA Tournament on April 8-10.
The ‘Cats will have their stars return to the floor. Junior setter Emily DeWalt, junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald and senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott were selected to the 2020 All-Sun Belt First Team. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Teske received second-team honors.
DeWalt received her third-straight Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Year award. She finished the fall season leading the conference in total assists (1016) and assists per set (11.42).
Fitzgerald ranked No. 1 in total kills (352) and points (400.5). She was also No. 2 in hitting percentage (.364) and No. 3 in total blocks (80).
Scott was No. 2 in total blocks (82) and No. 3 in hitting percentage (.356). She was selected to the 2020 All-Sun Belt Tournament Team and was the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. DeWalt also made the All-Sun Belt Tournament Team.
As for UTSA, it has played a total of five matches within the last calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Roadrunners are currently sitting with a 2-3 record in their 2020-21 season and are sporting a two-match losing streak.
In its last full season in 2019, UTSA had a 16-14 overall record and went 8-6 in Conference USA.
The Roadrunners are led by sophomore setter Courtney Walters and junior outside hitter Kirby Smith.
Walters had a successful freshman season in 2019, as she averaged 7.62 assists per set and totaled 211 digs for the year
As a freshman in 2018, Smith was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and she made Second-Team All-Conference USA. The following year, Smith had a .163 hit percentage, averaged 2.43 kills per set and 2.22 digs per set.
The I-35 rivalry will be the 31st matchup between both teams, with Texas State leading the series by a score of 23-7.
While the record is decisively in the Bobcats’ favor, their road record in the matchup could provide hope to UTSA to pull off an upset. As the home team in the rivalry, Texas State has a 13-1 record against the Roadrunners. When the ‘Cats go on the road, they sit at 9-5 overall.
Still, with a winning record, Texas State has shown to be beatable on the road. Facing a team with this much inactivity over the years could be a cause for the group to potentially overlook UTSA, but it’ll be up to DeWalt, Fitzgerald, and Scott to set the tone early and often.
The matchup to watch for will be between the two setters, DeWalt and Walters, who will “set” the tone for their respective programs. Both teams will rely on both to put their teammates in winning positions throughout the entirety of the contest.
With much familiarity between the two programs, this matchup will be one that sets the tone for each program’s season. For Texas State, this will be a stepping stone on its path to the NCAA Tournament. For UTSA, push their program back to success after an inactive 2020 season.
Texas State will face UTSA at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 will take place on February 11th at the Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas. The match will be broadcast from the Conference USA’s website.

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