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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 loses perfect Sun Belt record in regular-season finale

Texas+State+Head+Coach+Sean+Huiet+calls+a+timeout+during+a+game+against+the+University+of+Texas+at+Arlington%2C+Saturday%2C+Nov.+14%2C+2020%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.+The+Bobcats+lost+3-0+against+the+Mavericks.

Texas State Head Coach Sean Huiet calls a timeout 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.

No. 11 Texas State volleyball (20-2 overall, 15-1 Sun Belt) lost its regular-season finale to UT-Arlington (10-6 overall and Sun Belt) in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) on Nov. 14.

The loss snapped a 17-match win streak and a perfect record in conference play for Texas State. The upset also marks the first sweep the Bobcats have suffered since they faced then-No. 2 ranked Baylor on Sept. 24, 2019.

Despite beating UTA decisively in its previous match-up the night before, Texas State could not replicate the same success in the teams’ second meeting. UTA dominated the Bobcats in nearly every statistical category. UTA had a .246 hit percentage, while Texas State hit a season-low .096.

In the first set, Texas State got off to an expected hot start by getting ahead 7-1. UTA would close the gap to 12-8 before the Bobcats went on a 6-2 run to make the score 18-10.

Head Coach Sean Huiet was pleased with the way his team started the game.

“I loved [the energy] to start,” Huiet said. “We were excited. I said that before the match. I said ‘I love the energy.’”

With the Bobcats up 19-15, the Mavericks launched a monster 10-2 point run to win the set 25-23 and take a 1-0 lead on the day.

Huiet thinks his team was surprised by the sudden UTA scoring burst and could not recover.

“Somehow [UTA] got that momentum to shift, and we couldn’t just get it back,” Huiet said. “I thought UTA did a really good job. I thought we freaked out a little bit.”

In the second set, UTA continued its hot streak and built a 3-0 lead. Texas State managed to take a 6-5 lead before the Mavericks tied the set up at 7-7. The Mavericks then went on a 5-0 scoring run to bring their lead up to 12-7. The Bobcats closed the gap as close as 15-17 but failed to retake the lead for the remainder of the set.

Texas State called a timeout down 22-17 to regroup, but it was not enough to come back as UTA captured the set 25-20.

In the third set, UTA quickly built up a 6-3 lead. After a kill by Texas State’s sophomore middle blocker Tessa Marshall narrowed the deficit to 6-4, the Mavericks responded with another scoring burst, scoring eight straight points to push their lead to 14-4.

The Bobcats eventually cut into UTA’s lead with a 7-1 run of their own to bring the score to 16-12. Even then, it was not enough to rattle UTA as the visitors held on to win the set 25-18 and sweep Texas State 3-0.

Junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald led the team with 10 kills, sophomore middle blocker Tessa Marshall led with five blocks and junior setter Emily DeWalt posted her second consecutive double-double with 26 assists and 15 digs.

For the Mavericks, freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Briana Brown led the match with 16 kills, junior setter Kylee Kapp led the team with 16 assists and freshman setter Mollie Blank had 14 assists. Sophomore libero Alli Wells led defensively with a match-high 26 digs.

Despite the devastating upset to end to the regular season, Huiet has his sights set on the larger prize: The Sun Belt Conference Tournament. He hopes this loss serves as motivation to his players.

“As we just told our [players], at least the positive of this is that didn’t end our season,” Huiet said. “We still have the conference tournament next week, and that’s been our goal all along…We’re hoping that’s a little bit of a wake-up call and gets us going for next week.”

When asked how the team would bounce back for the conference tournament, Huiet responded by pointing out how little time his players will have to think about this defeat before its next contest.

“We leave Monday morning,” Huiet said. “So we don’t really have much time…so they gotta go home and watch some of this video… Sulk in here, cry in here, do what you want. But the minute you walk out this locker room, we’re forgetting this loss. We’re forgetting it. We’re gonna move forward, and we’re gonna win four matches next weekend and go to the NCAA tournament. That’s our goal.”

Texas State will face the University of Louisiana at Monroe in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 in Foley, Alabama.

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  • Texas State junior setter Emily DeWalt (17) sets the ball for a teammate during a game against the University of Arlington, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats lost 3-0 against the Mavericks.

  • 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.

  • Texas State sophomore outside hitter Lauren Teske (18) bumps the ball over the net 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.

  • Texas State sophomore outside hitter Caitlan Buettner (10) jumps up to spike the ball 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.

  • Texas State sophomore defensive specialist Michelle Foster (21) serves the ball 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.

  • Texas State sophomore outsider hitter Lauren Teske (18) jumps to spike the ball 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.

  • Texas State women’s volleyball team celebrates after scoring a point 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.

  • Texas State women’s volleyball team celebrates on the sidelines after scoring a point 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.

  • Texas State Head Coach Sean Huiet coaches plays from the sidelines 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.

  • Texas State junior setter Emily DeWalt (17) sets up the ball for a teammate 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.

  • Texas State cheerleaders show support for the Bobcats 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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