Texas State’s volleyball team took to Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday, April 29, to announce the winners of the 2019 Bobcat Volleyball Awards.
The coaching staff and players voted for the award recipients, taking into account players’ performances from the 2019 season and individual characters.
Senior setter and outside hitter Cheyenne Huskey won MVP after an impressive season in which she was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team and became the third Bobcat to win the Sun Belt’s Most Outstanding Player. Huskey finished the season with 57 total aces, 517 points and averaged a team-high 3.63 kills per set.
Huskey expressed gratitude for her MVP selection and credited her teammates for much of her success.
“I couldn’t have done anything, or earned these awards, without them because if I don’t get a set, then I can’t gain points for the team,” Huskey said. “It’s just amazing to see that they trusted me as a senior and as a teammate and I couldn’t have asked for a better senior year.”
The Offensive Player of the Year voting ended in a tie with Huskey and DeWalt selected co-winners. DeWalt joined Huskey on the All-Sun Belt First Team, and both players got selected to the VolleyMag.com All-America Honorable Mention team.
This past season, DeWalt became the first Bobcat to be named back-to-back Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Year. DeWalt finished the season averaging 10.22 assists per set, 2.28 digs per set and 77 total kills.
Volleyball Head Coach Sean Huiet said DeWalt’s ‘no-nonsense’ way of approaching the game is what earned her the award.
“She just wants to win and she’s going to do whatever it takes to win,” Huiet said. “She doesn’t care; she just wants to win. She just has that next level mentality of that side of the game which makes her very unique.”
Senior defensive specialist Micah Dinwiddie was named Defensive Player of the Year. Dinwiddie is Texas State’s all-time leader in career digs (1,716) and averaged 2.04 digs per set during her senior campaign.
For Dinwiddie, she said her mindset on defense was pivotal and allowed her to experience success on the court.
“I think it’s all about attitude,” Dinwiddie said. “It is a mentality more than it is skill. I think that when you bring a good mentality to (the game), (you know) nothing is gonna hit the floor and (you) are striving to be the best out there—I think that is what comes with being successful in the back row.”
Dinwiddie also won the Bobcat Fight Award, which is given to a player who is a great teammate, shows Bobcat spirit and serves as a model for how Bobcat players should carry themselves.
Huiet said Dinwiddie won the award because she learned to exemplify team values. He said early in Dinwiddie’s career, she was concerned with her own performance, but as she developed, she learned to value a team-oriented style while still playing at a high-level.
“It’s awesome to see her grow and know Texas State volleyball was bigger than herself,” Huiet said. “It was about being a good teammate; it was about being a good person. It was so awesome to see her win that award because of what she did this year.”
Freshman outside hitter Caitlan Buettner won Newcomer of the Year after tallying 81 kills (1.59 per set), 16 total blocks (two solo) and two aces. Buettner recorded a season-high 11 kills twice, once against Louisiana on Nov. 3 and against Arkansas State on Nov. 9.
Other newcomers on the team earned minutes this year, but it was Buettner’s progression over the year that landed her the award. Huiet compared Buettner’s playstyle to that of Huskey, insinuating her versatility.
“She can pass, she can play defense and she can serve,” Huiet said. “We are really, really expecting big things from her. People are gonna love her, and we love her a lot.”
The Bobcats finished the season with a conference-best 14-2 record and were crowned the 2019 Sun Belt Tournament Champions for the second consecutive year, after defeating Coastal Carolina 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18) in the championship game.
The team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year before losing in the first-round to UC Santa Barbara 1-3 (21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 14-25).