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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

Bobcats cap off Texas State Invitational with upset over No. 13 Houston

Carly Earnest
The Texas State volleyball team celebrates a winning point, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, at Strahan Arena.

Graduate student outside hitter K.J. Johnson registered 12 kills, and redshirt freshman outside hitter Samantha Wunsch had 11 as Texas State volleyball (4-1) swept previously undefeated No. 13 Houston (4-1) 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 in the final match of the Texas State Invitational Saturday afternoon at Strahan Arena.

The win marks Texas State’s fifth straight against the Cougars and the team’s third sweep of the season.

The Bobcats opened the Invitational with a five-set reverse sweep victory against the University of North Texas Thursday evening.

Johnson, a transfer from Fairfield University, tallied 15 kills against UNT to give her 27 to go along with 19 digs in the two matches. Wunsch finished the Invitational with 26 total kills.

“We kept a positive attitude and stayed composed and confident the whole time,” Wunsch said postgame. “And I think that’s what helped us get the edge over Houston.”

Texas State trailed only once in the match, 1-0 at the beginning of the second set, and led by as much as eight points midway through the third set due in part to three consecutive ace serves from junior libero Alyssa Ortega and five of Johnson’s kills.

The Cougars started to build a comeback, cutting the Texas State lead to 21-17 before Wunsch, senior setter Ryann Torres and sophomore middle blocker Bailey Hanner combined to block back-to-back kill attempts from Houston graduate student outside hitter Kenna Sauer.

Hanner added two of her eight kills to finish the set and the match.

“We knew they would battle back,” Texas State head coach Sean Huiet said. “We wanted to make sure we went point-for-point with them.”

Sauer had 13 kills and graduate student Abbie Jackson, the team’s kill leader, finished with 9. Houston, which also defeated North Texas, committed a total of 43 hitting errors in seven sets between the two matches.

Texas State will host its second tournament, the Bobcat Classic, next week. The Bobcats will begin the tournament against Southeastern Louisiana University (3-2).

The game between Texas State and Southeastern Louisiana is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at Strahan Arena in San Marcos. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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