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The University Star




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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

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Volleyball seniors reflect on season, lend advice to incoming recruits

Texas+State+volleyball+seniors+receive+honors+during+Senior+Day+at+their+last+home+game+of+the+season%2C+Sunday%2C+Nov.+7%2C+2021%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.

Texas State volleyball seniors receive honors during Senior Day at their last home game of the season, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at Strahan Arena.

After closing the season with a 20-12 overall, 14-2 Sun Belt Conference record, Texas State volleyball seniors reflect on their final season as Bobcats and lend advice to incoming recruits. 
The 2021 season proved to be a monumental season for both graduating seniors and the entire team. Setter Emily DeWalt, who recently graduated with a degree in exercise and sports science, became the first student-athlete in Texas State volleyball history to earn All-American Status by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. 
DeWalt was also recognized as the Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Year for the fourth time and the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, a recognition no other Texas State athlete has earned. 
“I just feel extremely blessed especially not knowing what this season was going to hold for me,” DeWalt said. “I know that I would not have been able to have those accomplishments without the help from my team, they really push me to be the best person and player that I could be every day.”
This past season, DeWalt totaled 813 assists in 76 plays and concluded the season with an average of 11.09 assists per set, making her the only volleyball athlete in the Sun Belt Conference to average more than 11 assists per set. 
After being the reigning champions for the past three years, Texas State volleyball had its eyes set on securing its fourth Sun Belt Championship title this season. Middle blocker Tyranee Scott, who graduated with a degree in business management this semester, said the team faced a lot of pressure throughout the season as they led up to the tournament.
“There was a lot of pressure because it is the tournament but just the teams we’ve played in the past I feel like those teams have gotten us ready for that pressure, so it was just all about adjusting for us,” Scott said.
The Bobcats entered their 2021 season with their entire roster from the previous season, including Scott who was granted an additional year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Despite coming into the season with its same set of players, the six seniors on the team led the way, ensuring their younger teammates were locked in on the current season. 
“Trying to keep everybody accountable every day in practice was a big thing and making sure everybody was mentally checked in every day was kind of a big part of our season,” outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford said.
Texas State volleyball fell short to South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference’s championship match on Nov. 21, losing the longest championship win streak for a Sun Belt Conference volleyball program since 1998.  
 Although Texas State volleyball did not come out on top to win the Sun Belt Conference title for the fourth consecutive time, the moments shared on the court are irreplaceable. As a parting wish to her teammates, Rutherford hopes they continue to value the experiences that come with being on the volleyball team. 
“Cherish each moment that you have, because it goes by so fast and you don’t realize but playing in all those championships it’s literally over in four years, so just cherish every moment and love your teammates,” Rutherford said.
Four Texas high school seniors will join the Texas State volleyball team for its 2022 season. As recruits prepare themselves for the next chapter of their lives, Scott encourages them to be fearless and focus on success. 
“For the new people coming in, don’t be afraid to speak your mind in a sense, cause change is always kind of a good thing, so be yourself but don’t be afraid to contribute to the team in a way you might not normally think to,” Scott said. 

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  • Texas State senior setter Emily DeWalt (17) sets the ball, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 3-0 against Coastal Carolina University.

  • Texas State senior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald (16), senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott (3) and junior outside hitter Caitlan Buettner (10) jump to block the ULM hitter’s hit, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 3-0.

  • Texas State then-junior outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford (1) jumps to block a spike from her opponent during a game against the University of Texas at Arlington, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats lost 3-0 against the Mavericks.

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