The Bobcats are taking on the UTSA Roadrunners for the 64th time on Friday — but this time it will count toward the WAC.
The Bobcats have claimed victory in eight of their last 10 meetings and Coach Karen Chisum feels it will be a good gauge as to how the team will compete in the WAC.
“UTSA is there right about the middle of the pack where we are,” Chisum said. “We’ve faced teams that are better and teams that aren’t as good, but I think that this game will really tell us a lot about ourselves.”
The Roadrunners are 8-4 overall and 1-1 in the WAC with their lone win coming over San Jose State, the same team that lost to the Bobcats last Thursday. The Bobcats were able to sweep the Spartans and it took the Roadrunners four sets to get the win.
Last year’s I-35 Rivalry in San Antonio set the crowd record at UTSA’s Convocation center with 1,612 people. The crowd was not a problem last year for the Bobcats—Texas State won in four sets.
This year, inconsistency and youth has plagued the Bobcats in their losses, especially on the road. UTSA finished second last year behind Texas State in the regular season of the Southland Conference. The Roadrunners are also growing with young talent like Texas State, though UTSA lost seven letter-winners and three starters from last year.
Texas State lost six letter-winners and three starters from the 2011 Southland Championship team.
Freshman defensive specialist Sierra Smith said the players came together as a team after the WAC-opening victory over San Jose State.
“This year, we have had a bunch of newcomers come in, and I think we’ve done pretty well considering,” Smith said. “So, coming into the WAC, I feel like we all came together. And that’s the time we needed to do it.”
Smith is tied for the team lead in aces with 10.
UTSA has earned victories over some Division I teams in its season thus far which substantially boost their resume: Alabama-Birmingham, Middle Tennessee State, UTEP, and Houston. UTSA will not be a slump of a team, but sophomore outside hitter Alex Simms said the Bobcats would be ready to go.
“I don’t think that we need to convince ourselves that we can compete at the top level,” Simms said. “I think that our mindset it there. We’ll be fine in competing at the top level in the WAC.”
Simms leads the team with 134 kills and is third in the WAC in kills. Simms will look to add to the total this Friday in San Antonio.
The match starts at 6:30 p.m. and will take place in the Convocation Center as the Bobcats look to go above .500 in the WAC.
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