Texas State traveled to Huntsville Tuesday to battle Sam Houston State, a former Southland Conference foe, and defeated the Bearkats 3-0 during the first road game of the season.
Texas State started the game off slow in the first set and was down by six points. With the score at 17-12 and the Bearkats in the lead, the Bobcats mounted a comeback, with senior middle blocker Ashlee Hilbun accounting for three kills. Texas State went on an 11-0 run before SHSU scored another point in the set. The Bobcats took the first set 25-19 and continued to push forward.
“I was first disappointed in our slow start,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “But our resiliency, confidence, leadership, especially from (senior right-side hitter) Amari (Deardorff) and Ashlee (Hilbun), really helped with the win. We gave (SHSU) more points than we should’ve given them, but we’re going to clean that up. It’s been a good start. We’ve really needed this.”
Deardorff led the team in kills for the game with 11, hitting .500 from the court on 18 attack attempts. This is Deardorff’s fourth time leading the team in kills out of five games this season. Junior setter Caylin Mahoney gathered 26 assists in the game, giving her 142 on the season.
Texas State committed 11 less errors than Sam Houston in the contest. During the third and final set of the game, the Bobcats committed one error, their lowest of the match.
“Our confidence level is very high, especially beating an old Southland Conference rival,” said junior outside hitter Alexandra Simms. “During our timeouts, we told each other to stay calm and not freak out. We needed to stay composed and calm, and that’s what we did. It’s a good feeling that I can sub-in for the team when they need (it) and contribute.”
Freshman outside hitter Shelby Vas Matt, who had seven kills, nine digs and one ace, discussed the early success the team has had and her contributions to the team thus far.
“My success on the team really goes to my coaches and teammates,” Vas Matt said. “They all have my back, and when there’s people behind you that are giving you support, it’s really easy to get the job done. Right now, as the team moves forward, we’re just trying to focus on keeping our momentum going, just keeping intact our serving, going after ball, just the fundamentals.”
Texas State will be back in action when they travel to Denton for the North Texas Invitational Tournament. The ball club will take on Northwestern State, Utah, Prairie View A&M and North Texas during the weekend tournament.
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