Volleyball extends win streak to six games

Junior+Brooke+Johnson+%2812%29+celebrates+with+her+teammates+after+the+set+winning+point+was+scored+Oct.+19+at+Strahan+Arena.+Photo+credit%3A+Kate+Connors
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Volleyball extends win streak to six games

Junior Brooke Johnson (12) celebrates with her teammates after the set winning point was scored Oct. 19 at Strahan Arena. Photo credit: Kate Connors

Junior Brooke Johnson (12) celebrates with her teammates after the set winning point was scored Oct. 19 at Strahan Arena. Photo credit: Kate Connors

Junior Brooke Johnson (12) celebrates with her teammates after the set winning point was scored Oct. 19 at Strahan Arena. Photo credit: Kate Connors

Junior Brooke Johnson (12) celebrates with her teammates after the set winning point was scored Oct. 19 at Strahan Arena. Photo credit: Kate Connors

Cade Andrews

The Texas State volleyball team finished the weekend with two wins against Sun Belt Conference opponents, beating Troy on Friday and South Alabama on Saturday to close out their four-match home stretch.

Texas State’s record improved to 16-7 overall and 8-1 in conference play as they upped their win streak to six consecutive matches.

The Bobcats defeated South Alabama 3-1 (25-7, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18) Saturday night to extend their winning streak to six. This win marked Texas State’s 20th consecutive conference victory at Strahan Arena.

The Bobcats lost the first point of the match but quickly bounced back with a 14-0 run to dominate the first set. South Alabama came back swinging, managing to close out the second set after the Bobcats tied it up at 17. The third set was back in the ‘Cats’ favor in the third set and they took the 2-1 advantage with a 25-20 win. In a last-ditch effort, the Jaguars tied it up 8-8 in the fourth set, but the Bobcats took care of business, scoring five of the next six points to get ahead and eventually win the match.

In her eighth of twelve saves that night, senior defensive specialist Micah Dinwiddie recorded 13 digs, surpassing Sierra Smith (1,646; 2012-15) as the new all-time dig leader at Texas State. Now standing at 1,652 career digs, the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year led the team in digs for the fourth time this season following the game. To close out the team’s defensive performance, junior libero Brooke Johnson had two aces and finished the match with 10 digs.

Head Coach Karen Chisum said she was proud of Dinwiddie and her effort in the past four years as a leading player.

“I’m excited for Micah,” Chisum said. “She’s been instrumental for us for four years. She is a leader out there on the court.”

Sophomore outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald led the Bobcats with a season-high 18 kills on a .455 hitting percentage. Senior outside Cheyenne Huskey also had 17 kills as well as 10 digs for a back-to-back double-double. As the playmaker of the game, sophomore Emily DeWalt nearly had a double-double herself with a game-pacing 49 assists and nine digs.

The game came after a 3-0 sweep against Troy Friday night. (37-35, 25-16, 25-13). Despite an unprecedented 37-35 first set, the ‘Cats pulled off their fifth sweep in a row in front of a crowd of over 1,000 Bobcat fans.

The first set of the game represented persistence on the Bobcat side as they came from behind to win the set, Chisum said.

“I told the kids at the end of the first set was pure guts, character, and belief in the team because we were not supposed to win that set,” Chisum said. “I was proud of them and although we did not start strong, the more we played, the stronger we got.”

The 72 points between the two teams was a record-setting set at home. Texas State last saw a 70-plus point set back in Nov. 2009, when they topped UT Arlington 41-39 in Arlington, Texas.

Huskey recorded 18 kills and 11 digs, hitting a match-high .552 as she turned in her seventh double-double of the year. Freshman outside Lauren Teske added seven kills, while junior middle Tyeranee Scott and Fitzgerald pitched in six kills each. DeWalt put in 38 assists and three blocks.

The sweep was a reward from a long and promising week of practices, DeWalt said.

“We had good practices all week,” DeWalt said. “That helped us prepare for a faster paced game tonight. We weren’t blocking very well in the first set but we picked it up in the second and third sets.”

Texas State will play the next four matches on the road starting with the Carolinas when they face undefeated Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. on Friday and Appalachian State in Boone, N.C on Sunday.

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