The Texas State volleyball team played a total of 13 sets this weekend and lost one, claiming the Delta Zeta Classic title, starting the beginning of the season 4-0.
The Bobcats held Lamar Aug. 31 to less than 20 points per set in their first victory against the Cardinals. Senior right-side hitter Amari Deardorff led the team in kills, amassing 12, with a .391 hitting percentage from the court. Junior setter Caylin Mahoney tallied 22 assists in the game in addition to 10 digs.
Texas State committed 14 fewer errors than the Cardinals. During the second set against Lamar, the team committed one error, the Bobcats’ fewest total in the contest. The Cardinals committed 11 in the set, their highest total of errors during the game.
“It was a great opportunity to get our first win,” Mahoney said. “Our team is now really confident going into the game against SMU. If we play like we did, not committing a lot of errors, we’ll be perfect.”
Later that day, the Bobcats faced their most challenging opponent, SMU, with 1,839 fans in attendance, the largest crowd in Strahan Coliseum during the tournament. There were nine lead changes during the match, and the score was tied 23 times. Texas State defeated the Mustangs in four sets.
Deardorff continued to lead the team in kills with 20 during the contest, totaling 23.5 points during the game, including a .471 hitting percentage. In the fourth set, during match-point, Deardorff delivered the final kill, ensuring the win. Sophomore defensive specialist Sierra Smith had 15 digs in the game, leading the team in the category.
Mahoney added to her assists total, serving up 40 in the match. The Bobcats scored nine serving aces during the game, their highest total during the tournament.
“We definitely had times where everything was going well for us,” Deardorff said. “There were moments when the team was becoming a little too hyped up and nervous, but we were able to stay composed. One big thing that has helped us this year is remaining confident, knowing that if our opponents get a few points on us, we have everything it takes to battle back.”
The next day, the Bobcats beat Quinnipiac in three straight sets during the third match of the tournament. The Bobcats led in all major statistical categories against their opponent. Texas State scored 14 more kills than Quinnipiac, which accounted for the second highest differential in the classic.
The Bobcats’ final opponent was the Houston Cougars. Texas State has lost 25 of 29 previous encounters against the club. The ball club defeated the Cougars in three straight sets to clinch the title. The Bobcats managed to score six more kills than the Cougars with 11 fewer attack-attempts in the game than Houston. Deardorff accounted for 12 of the kills.
Collectively, the Bobcats hit .309 from the court compared to Houston’s .111 team hitting percentage. During the tournament, Deardorff accumulated 46 kills with an overall hitting-percentage of .459 and was named MVP . Mahoney ended the tournament with 115 assists. Smith currently leads to team in digs with 42 overall.
“This tournament has just been a good overall start,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “Since 2000, we haven’t had a 4-0 start. I told the team, ‘let’s get back into the record books.’ We deserved the wins this weekend. The players really came out and played well. This team isn’t a one-man show and even though a lot of balls are going to Amari (Deardorff), the whole team brought it.”
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