Bobcat volleyball notched two wins this weekend against the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers and the Appalachian State University Mountaineers, bringing the undefeated team’s win streak to 13.
The team’s 13-match win streak is the highest in nearly a decade, and head coach Karen Chisum is set on keeping the streak going, according to senior middle Madison Daigle.
“We started off well, but we have to keep going,” Daigle said. “Chisum always says we can’t be 10-0 if we’re not 9-0, so we’ve been taking every match one at a time.”
Chisum is looking to reach her eighth regular season conference championship and ninth tournament championship In her 39th season, the Texas State alumna is the longest-standing Texas State head coach. The win over the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers marked Chisum’s 886th career win, notching her up to tie for ninth in NCAA history.
Chisum’s focus on competition in practice contributes to the team’s success, according to junior Mattie Adams.
“It starts in practice, and she always talks about how we need to compete and be competitive within each other even off the court,” Adams said. “In practice, it’s competing within your position, and then when it comes (to) game time, we compete across the net.”
The weekend’s victories started Friday with a 3-0 sweep against the Mountaineers, dominating in kills (44-41), attack percentage (.344-.191), blocks (7-3), digs (47-34), and assists (43-36).
Sophomore libero Micah Dinwiddie and freshman setter Brooke Johnson both picked up double-digit digs, and junior setter and outside hitter Cheyenne Huskey led the match with 18 attacks. Dinwiddie credited the team’s steady defense and standout front row players for the win.
“Our offense was slow at the beginning, but our passing was there the entire time to get our offense going and to tell them we had their back,” Dinwiddie said.
With a 3-1 win Saturday, the Bobcats redeemed their nail-biting 3-1 upset to the Chanticleers in the Sun Belt Championship last fall. The Bobcats are the only undefeated team in conference play with a 9-0 record and a season record of 18-5.
Sophomore Brooke Johnson said the Chanticleers slowed the team’s momentum during the second set of Saturday’s game, but the Bobcats were able to edge out wins in sets three and four.
“In the second set we struggled a little bit,” Johnson said. “We need(ed) to come in with better intensity and play better, pass better and serve better and just work on everything.”
The Bobcats barreled through the first set and racked up an early 13-point lead, ultimately defeating the Chanticleers 25-17. After losing the second set 25-22, the Bobcats were able to find their footing in the third set with a 25-20 win and in the fourth set with a 25-21 win.
The team recorded a season-high 15 blocks, with senior middle Madison Daigle leading the game with seven. Daigle said the team’s cohesiveness and practice blocking in practice led to their improved performance.
“They’ve got big hitters, so we had to shut them down to be successful,” Daigle said. “Block timing was crucial for us, so we worked hard on getting off the net and transitioning, and broke it down step by step.”
True freshman Emily DeWalt snagged her 15th double-double of the season and led both teams with 42 assists, 19 digs, four kills and four blocks. DeWalt continues to lead the conference in double-doubles.
With 76 digs, 58 kills, 58 assists and an attack percentage of .231, the Bobcats outpaced CCU’s stats: 55 digs, 49 kills, 46 assists and a .145 attack percentage.
The Bobcats hit the road for their Friday game against South Alabama. Keep up with the team at the Texas State Volleyball website: txstatebobcats.com/index.aspx?path=wvball