Texas State has a unique opportunity going into the Western Athletic Conference. When the university continues forward as “The Rising Star of Texas,” there is only one way to make any real progress. We must look back and honor an individual who is as unique to San Marcos as the river itself.
First, a piece of trivia: Who are the active NCAA Division I volleyball coaches with more wins than Texas State coach Karen Chisum? Dave Shoji, Russ Rose, Kathy Gregory, Mick Haley and John Dunning.
Do any of those names ring a bell?
All except Gregory own multiple NCAA championships, and Gregory and Rose are already inducted into the U.S. Volleyball Hall of Fame. That’s it. That’s the short list of active coaches with more wins than Texas State’s very own.
A European Texas State student is getting a shot to take his talents back across the pond.
Daniel Lanni, communication design senior, is goalkeeper, captain and team president of the Texas State men’s soccer club. For one week in May he will travel to Holland for a trial in an attempt to earn a spot on one of the nation’s top soccer clubs, FC Twente.
Originally from the south of London, Lanni and his family made their way to Dallas right before he began high school.
Derek Matlock, baseball pitching coach, aims to reflect hard work and professionalism in every aspect of life. When Bobcat pitchers tossed 57 and two-thirds scoreless innings in a rowmore than a month ago, there was only one thing to do—continue to get better.
“The streak didn’t make me proud,” Matlock said. “I’m proud of the players. It was nice, but we have to get better every day. When you work hard, you get good results. It was fun, but we still have to get a lot better.”
Matlock is in his fifth year with the Bobcat squad, and serves as assistant coach as well as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
The future of Texas State athletics is not in the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC is currently nothing more than a launching point for the Bobcats to get in the Division I competition. With the way conference realignment is headed, I doubt there will even be a WAC in 2013.
The Conference-USA/Mountain West football mega-merger (henceforth known as the Alliance) has said it is already looking to expand to 20 to 24 teams. Texas State’s old buddy, Karl Benson, even jumped ship on his 18-year project for the Sun Belt. Which, by the way, is looking to expand.
Now here’s the tricky part. Texas State is squashed between two bigger markets in the University of Texas and Texas-San Antonio, both within a 45-minute drive. It would make sense the Bobcats would have to fight for coverage, recruits and realignment.
Texas State knew since last week what was required to reach the Southland Conference Tournament. The final game of the season pitted two teams fighting for the final spot, and in the end, Sam Houston State edged out the home team, winning 63-61.
Vonn Jones, junior guard, had a chance to tie or take the lead with 4.6 seconds remaining, but a desperation 3-pointer clanked off the front of the rim, ending the Bobcats’ hopes of making a run in Katy.
The Bobcats had three players foul out of the contest in the second half, and Coach Doug Davalos vocalized how upset he was with the officiating after the game.
The Bobcats were unable to take advantage of a prime opportunity on Wednesday night, losing to the Lamar Cardinals, 81-65. Despite the loss, however, the team will still be playing a winner-take-all game Saturday against the Sam Houston State Bearkats in Strahan Coliseum.
Matt Staff, junior forward, led the home team with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Travis Jones, senior guard, and John Bowman, senior guard, chipped in 13 points apiece.
Coach Doug Davalos said he is glad the team still has something to play for.
“I told the team when we were 2-9 in conference that all we needed was six wins,” Davalos said. “It appears that is exactly what we’ll need. I would just hate for the seniors to go out like that.”
Texas State played the entire game from behind, as the Bobcats never led, and trailed 44-27 at the half. Davalos said Lamar’s offensive rebounding led to second-chance points that hurt the Bobcats.
Hope remains, however slim, for Texas State’s men’s basketball to make the Southland Conference tournament following a 66-52 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners Saturday afternoon.
The Bobcats avenged an earlier loss on their home floor, winning their fourth-straight game and third consecutive match on the road.
Matthew Staff, junior forward, played a pivotal role in the win. He recorded career-highs in points (28) and assists (6), while also grabbing 12 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double. He was named the SLC Player of the Week.
With the Southland Conference men’s basketball tournament looming two weeks away, the Texas State Bobcats look to win their second consecutive game on the road as they travel to Hammond, La.
The matchup with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions pits against each other two teams that desperately need wins and sport 3-9 records in SLC play.
The Bobcats notched their first road win Saturday in South Dakota after a 0-11 record away from Strahan Coliseum.
“Winning is a cure-all in athletics,” Coach Doug Davalos said. “Winning makes your food taste better, makes you sleep better, makes you want to get up the next day for practice even more. I give our guys a lot of credit.”
The Bobcats have won three out of their last four contests, only dropping a game to Texas-Arlington, the leader of the SLC.
The Sears Bracketbusters matchup between Texas State and South Dakota pitted two teams with high-octane offenses against each other, and the game did not disappoint. The Bobcats sank two free throws in the final seconds for a 93-92 victory.
Texas State struggled early, as the Coyotes were able to knock down eight of 13 shots en route to a 20-11 lead and 7-point advantage at the break. Brooks Ybarra, senior forward, paced the Bobcat offense in the second half, finishing the game with a career-high 29 points as Texas State battled back for the victory.
“It was a relief of pressure from us not being able to win on the road and win those close games,” Ybarra said. “It was a weight lifted off of our shoulders that we could finally get it done. The pressure seemed to go away a little bit.”
Texas State Softball Head Coach Ricci Woodard knows about tough love. She is a mother, after all.
The woman entering her twelfth season at the helm of the softball program has experienced a lot in her tenure, but nothing has had as big of an impact on her as the adoption of two young boys, Joey and Alex.
“It changed my approach to life,” Woodard said. “It has made this more of a job instead of my life. We’ve won multiple conference championships in a row since I adopted them, so maybe it has helped me learn how to separate my job and my life.”
Since Woodard was named head coach in 2000, the softball team has never placed lower than third place. The Bobcats have appeared in three straight National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments and won five Southland Conference regular-season titles.