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Volleyball finds magic broom in Halloween sweep against Mavericks


Texas State junior middle blocker Jillian Slaughter (8), junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald (16), and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Lauren Teske (18) stand in position preparing for the next play, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at Strahan Arena against Houston Baptist University.

The Bobcats’ volleyball team increased its winning streak to 13 after sweeping the University of Texas at Arlington 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-21) Oct. 31 on the road.
With the win, Texas State completed a weekend sweep of UTA, including its 3-0 win on Oct. 30. Head Coach Sean Huiet was pleased with his team’s performance in hostile territory.
“It was a great win and weekend,” Huiet said. “UTA is very young but a great team, so to come in and sweep them twice at their place is big. It is a good momentum builder for us as we prepare for the end of the season push.”
Texas State is now 16-1 overall and 11-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. The UTA Mavericks have an overall record of 8-3.
The opening set was tightly contested with nine ties and five lead changes. The set began with the Mavericks taking a 2-0 lead after a kill from freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Briana Brown assisted by junior setter Kylee Kapp, followed by an attacking error by Texas State.
After trailing 3-1, the Bobcats managed to even the score 5-5 and took their first lead of the game with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Lauren Teske off an assist from junior setter Emily DeWalt, making the score 6-5.
After several ties and lead changes, Texas State went on a 7-1 run, including four straight kills by junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald, to take the lead 17-13 and held the lead for the remainder of the set.
Texas State went on to win the first set 25-19 with a final kill by Fitzgerald off an assist by DeWalt.
The Bobcats recorded 19 kills off a .326 hitting percentage. Fitzgerald led all players with eight kills, and DeWalt led with 17 assists in the set.
To start the second set, the Mavericks took an early 2-0 lead with kills from Brown and sophomore outside hitter Devon Martinka. Both sides then struggled, combining for nine errors to make the score 7-6 with UTA still in front.
Down 8-7, the Bobcats went on a 6-0 run beginning with two kills and a solo block from senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott to take the lead 13-8.
Huiet praised both Scott and junior middle blocker Jillian Slaughter for their contributions in the last two games.
“I thought our middles did a great job this weekend,” Huiet said. “Both [Slaughter] and [Scott] are hitting for high efficiencies and doing a great job blocking.”
The Bobcats kept up the momentum as they led the Mavericks for the rest of the set, ultimately winning 25-14 to take a 2-0 lead.
Texas State was active defensively, holding UTA to an abysmal .000 hitting percentage in the set. Scott hit .714 off seven errorless attacks, had five kills and a block in the set.
The third and final set was defined by big runs from each team. The Mavericks scored the first point with a kill from freshman outside hitter Brianna Ford off an assist from freshman setter Mollie Blank. The Bobcats responded with a 5-2 run to take a 5-3 lead.
After back-and-forth points from both teams, Texas State led 9-6, before going on an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 17-6.
UTA went on a run and eventually closed the gap to 23-20.
The Bobcats managed to hold off the Maverick comeback and won the set 25-21 to win the match 3-0 and complete a sweep of the two-game series.
Scott had double-digit kills for the fourth time in six matches and led the ‘Cats with 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .522 to go along with two solo blocks. Fitzgerald had 11 kills and a career-high four solo blocks on her way to six total blocks. DeWalt had 35 assists and eight digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Michelle Foster had a career-best 10 digs.
For the Mavericks, Kapp led the team with a hitting average of .500 and 13 assists. Townsend led UTA with nine kills.
Coming up next for the Bobcats is the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Nov. 6 at the First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro, Arkansas. 

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