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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

Texas State’s 2023 season comes to an end in first round of NCAA Tournament

The+Texas+State+volleyball+team+celebrates+a+point+against+SMU%2C+Thursday%2C+Nov.+30%2C+2023%2C+at+Gregory+Gymnasium+in+Austin%2C+Texas.+
Kobe Arriaga
The Texas State volleyball team celebrates a point against SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

Texas State volleyball (20-10, 12-4 Sun Belt Conference) was swept 3-0 by Southern Methodist University (26-6, 18-1 American Athletic Conference) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday afternoon at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin.

The loss brings an end to the Bobcats’ 2023 season.

“A little frustrated tonight, I didn’t think that was our best performance,” Texas State Head Coach Sean Huiet said. “When you play someone like SMU you have to bring your best. That is not who we are that is not how our season has been. We were not ourselves tonight and that is what the outcome shows.”

SMU junior outside hitter Jamison Wheeler powered the Mustangs to the win recording a game-high 17 kills. Senior outside hitters Naya Shime and Natalie Perdue tallied 14 and 10 kills for SMU, respectively.

The Mustangs dominated the match from beginning to end by going on a 6-0 run in the first set to take a 14-6 lead. The Bobcats rallied late run but SMU was able to hold them off for a 25-20 set win.

Kills from Wheeler and Shime, along with a Bobcat attack error, helped the Mustangs establish an 11-6 lead in the second set. Texas State once again made a late rally to cut the deficit to four with a 4-0 run, forcing an SMU timeout. Back-to-back kills from Shime out of the timeout sealed the 25-19 set win.

Riding the momentum from the previous set wins SMU completed the sweep with a 25-16 set three win to clinch the match and end Texas State’s season.

Redshirt outside hitter Samantha Wunsch led Texas State with 10 kills and four blocks. Graduate student outside hitter K.J. Johnson, the Bobcats’ kill leader during the regular season, was held in check by the Mustang defense, finishing with five kills, two blocks and one ace.

For SMU, the win marks its second NCAA Tournament win in program history, and it’s 16 consecutive.

With the first-round exit, the Bobcats will now turn their focus on the 2024 season and attempt to make back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

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  • Texas State sophomore middle blocker Bailey Hanner (20) leaps for a spike versus SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

  • Texas State sophomore outside hitter Maggie Walsh (2) leaps for a spike versus SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

  • Texas State graduate outside hitter K.J. Johnson (17) rises up for a spike versus SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

  • Texas State junior outside hitter Sophie Childs (9) rises for the spike versus SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

  • Texas State sophomore middle blocker Bailey Hanner (20) leaps for a spike versus SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

  • Texas State graduate outside hitter K.J. Johnson (17) rises up for a spike versus SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

  • The Texas State volleyball team celebrates a point against SMU, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

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