The Texas State volleyball team ended its two-game road trip Sunday by defeating Troy in a four-set match, but lost to South Alabama Friday in a five-set contest, moving to 6-5 in the Sun Belt Conference.
Texas State totaled 13 service errors against the Jaguars Friday, which is the second time in the previous three games the team has combined for that many errors in the category. Senior right-side hitter Amari Deardorff finished the match with a team-high 17 kills, hitting .326 from the court.
“We had too many errors (Friday),” said Coach Karen Chisum. “We can’t expect to win by doing that.”
Deardorff has combined for 35 kills against South Alabama during the season, recording 18 kills in the prior matchup against the Jaguars. Junior setter Caylin Mahoney recorded a game-high 44 assists in the match, adding four kills.
Freshman outside hitter Jessica Lewis led South Alabama with 18 kills in the game, finishing with a .149 hitting percentage from the floor. Mechell Daniel, freshman outside hitter for the Jaguars, tallied 15 kills in the match. Lewis and Daniel totaled 71 kills against the Bobcats during the course of the season.
South Alabama improved to 4-4 at home, while Texas State dropped to 3-5 on the road before taking on Troy Sunday.
Mahoney and freshman outside hitter Kelsey Weynand registered a double-double against Troy. Weynand led the Bobcats with a career-best 12 kills and 17 digs, finishing the game with a .243 hitting percentage from the court. Mahoney recorded 32 assists and 14 digs in the match. Mahoney provided eight kills, ending with a .400 hitting percentage.
“The team really talked a lot after the loss against South Alabama. We don’t want our season to reflect how we played in that game,” Weynand said. “We played a lot more like a team against Troy, having fun and putting all our effort on the court. We relaxed a lot more, not wanting to overanalyze our play.”
Senior middle blocker Ashlee Hilbun had 10 kills and five assisted blocks in the game against Troy. Hilbun finished with a .304 hitting percentage, which is the third consecutive game with a hitting percentage above .200. Hilbun has averaged 9.75 kills over the previous four games.
Deardorff recorded 12 kills in the contest, which is the fourth straight game with double-digit kills, averaging 15 kills during the span of games. Deardorff has 304 kills during the season, which ranks her seventh in the Sun Belt.
Defensive-specialist Sierra Smith tallied a team-high 21 digs during the match. Smith ranks seventh in the conference in digs, averaging 4.02 digs per set.
“We definitely had a different mentality coming into this match against Troy,” Smith said. “I think we’re just a different team now. It helps that we’re all close friends and our effort carries out on to the court.”