The Texas State volleyball team will host its final two home games of the season against
Western Kentucky and Georgia State at Strahan Coliseum this week, two teams the Bobcats split in wins and losses earlier in the year.
The Hilltoppers defeated Texas State 3–0 in their previous encounter, which was the first and last time the Bobcats have lost to an opponent in straight sets so far. Senior outside hitter Paige Wessel led Western Kentucky in the match, finishing with a team-high 10 kills and a .625 hitting percentage from the court. Wessel ranks first in the Sun Belt Conference in hitting percentage, averaging .441 percent on the year.
Senior middle blocker Ashlee Hilbun led the Bobcats in kills during the match, totaling nine kills in the contest, with a .280 hitting average from the court. Hilbun has totaled double-digit kills in the previous three games, averaging 10.3 kills during the span. Hilbun is currently second on the team in kills with 238 on the season.
“I think we need to continue with a team mentality of a hard work ethic going into the match against (Western Kentucky,)” Hilbun said. “We just need to stay with them during long rallies. If we can just figure out their weaknesses, hit the ball deep, I think we’ll have success.”
The Lady Toppers are currently on a four-game winning streak, defeating their previous four opponents all in straight sets. The team has 14 straight set wins on the year. Western Kentucky places atop the conference with a .800 winning percentage on the season. The team has an away record of 8-2, which is second best in conference behind Arkansas-Little Rock. The Bobcats have a home record of 9–3 for the season.
Texas State will play its final home game of the season against Georgia State on Saturday, a team the Bobcats defeated earlier in the year in straight sets. The Panthers rank second to last in conference with an away record of 2–7.
The Panthers are on three-game winning streak, tying their longest on the season. Sophomore outside hitter Dede Bohannon and sophomore middle-blocker Eliza Zachary have combined for 64 kills in their previous two games. Bohannon ranks sixth in kills within the category, averaging 3.18 kills per set.
Senior right-side hitter Amari Deardorff provided seven kills during the previous matchup against the Georgia State, hitting .375 from the court. Deardorff has 60 kills in the previous four games, which is an average of 15 per contest. Deardorff leads the Bobcats in kills, totaling 304 on the season, which places her seventh in the conference.
“The match against (Georgia State) is a game we don’t want to lose, especially it being on Senior Day,” Deardorff said. “The fact they’re on a three-game winning streak just shows that any team can be beaten in this conference on a given night. We definitely don’t want this game to slip away from us.”
Coach Karen Chisum discussed the significance of Senior Day for the season, particularly mentioning Hilbun and Deardorff, two players that have been with the program their entire collegiate career.
“It’s exciting for me because (Hilbun and Deardorff) have been with us for four years,” Chisum said. “They’re all very special ladies that are leaving their mark at Texas State. I do this every year, so there are tears, but as soon as the celebration is over, it’s going to be all about the game.”