Following Texas State soccer’s championship win last week, Strahan Arena got it’s own taste of ring season as volleyball claimed the Sun Belt Regular Season Championship over the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks.
Players celebrated the 3-0 title win Sunday by displaying Ring Pops on their fingers to simulate a championship ring. Head coach Karen Chisum said it meant a lot to bring a championship to a school that she believed has long deserved one.
“I am a Bobcat through and through,” Chisum said. “(This) means the world to me that all these people are here and we can do this for our program and our athletic department. We are all family. I eat, sleep and will die a Bobcat.”
The season’s success can be credited to upperclassmen who set high standards for younger players, which raised the standard level of play for the team.
“We have a true all-around team,” Chisum said. “We don’t have the same attack leader every night. You never know who’s going to be leading us.”
According to an athletics department press release, the Sun Belt Conference has named freshman setter Emily DeWalt as Setter of the Week for the sixth time. Adding to her accolades, which are totaled at 11 now, Dewalt said the team came together over the weekend to further their win streak. Throughout the three quick sets, DeWalt had 51 assist, 18 digs, and three aces.
“At first we were hesitant because we thought (Lafayette was) going to give us (a loss),” Dewalt said. “We had nothing to lose so we came out of intermission with more energy and fought.”
The win against ULM on Sunday marked the 17th consecutive win overall and the 13th consecutive conference win for the team. The game, which coincided as senior day, had senior middle blocker Madison Daigle stand out with nine kills, three blocks and two aces.
“It’s been a while since volleyball has won, so I’m just really excited that we could be the team to do it,” Daigle said. “All the fans here for senior night is really special to me and I’m going to miss it so much, but we still have a lot of volleyball yet to play.”
Texas State will be the No. 1 ranked team going into the Sun Belt Conference Championship, but Chisum said she is not worried about the team and the Sun Belt Tournament, and the team is ready for the NCAA Playoffs.
“Honestly I don’t think it will be that hard,” Chisum said. “We are focused on NCAA playoffs. I think our RPI’s are high and I think we are getting recognized, but with that said I certainly do not want to fall back on a large bid.”
The Bobcats will take their championship confidence and travel to Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Friday to face Arkansas State at 6:30 p.m.