The Texas State Bobcats ended the regular season with three of the better teams in the WAC and came away with three straight losses, dropping the Bobcats to the seventh position in the WAC.
Despite the three game slide, Coach Karen Chisum expressed after Wednesday’s loss that the tournament was the chance for a new beginning.
“The conference tournament is a new season for us,” Chisum said. “We have to be mentally tougher. We can be a very good tournament (team) when we put it together. We just need to want to win badly.”
Utah State won the first set 25-16, took the second after the Bobcats had an early lead 25-19 and finished off Texas State in the third 25-21.
Junior middle blocker Ashlee Hilbun led the Bobcats with ten kills and added three assists and five digs. Freshman outside hitter Morgan McDaniel was second on the team in nine kills. Senior setter Caleigh McCorquodale had team high 15 assists with seven digs.
In the first set, the Bobcats last lead was 4-3, after Utah State pulled away by as many as ten points. The second set saw Texas State bounce back to take a 13-9 lead in hopes of tying the match at one. But a 6-1 Aggie run allowed Utah State to grab a 15-14 advantage. Texas State only led once more the rest of the way.
With the loss, the Bobcats fell to 9-9 in the WAC and into seventh place. Texas State could face off against either the University of Texas-San Antonio, New Mexico State University or the University of Idaho; all are 12-5 in the conference and play Thursday. Idaho and New Mexico State face off against each other.
Against those three opponents, Texas State is 2-4. One win came at New Mexico State in five sets and the other came against UTSA in five sets. The Vandals swept the season series from the Bobcats.
Texas State would not have to face Utah State until the final round as the sixth or seventh seed.
Heading into the contest against the Aggies, the Bobcats needed a win to move into fifth place and now can only clinch the sixth or seventh seed due to tiebreaker scenarios.
The first round of the WAC Volleyball Tournament, which is hosted by UTSA, will take place Monday and the championship game will be on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.