The Texas State volleyball team has completed just over 70 percent of its regular season. The Bobcats currently sit in sixth place in the Sun Belt Conference, with an overall record of 15-9 and 5-4 in conference play.
Starting this Friday, the club will play every team they have faced in the Sun Belt to finish the remaining nine games of the season. It goes without saying these last nine conference games will be critical to Texas State as they approach the Sun Belt Conference tournament. The tournament is now just under a month away in Troy, Ala.
Hopefully with these last nine games, the Bobcats can adjust mistakes they made the first time around and continue working on the skills that brought recent success to the team. Here are some key elements the ball club should focus on for the remainder of the season.
Something the team should strive to do as they finish out the season is maintain the consistency gained from their recent two-game winning streak. A major key for moving forward is the emergence of youth from freshman setter Jordan Moore, sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Brooke Smith and freshman outside hitter Shelby Vas Matt.
The new lineup Coach Karen Chisum has set up with the 6-2 formation is creating fresh chemistry for the Bobcats. It allows the older established players to sit down and take a break, while not having to experience a dip in production during their absence. Implementing this formation is crucial for the Bobcats and their success for the remainder of the year.
Some aspects of the game the volleyball team needs to improve is getting ahead early, maintaining their lead and finishing off the games. Since the Bobcats have some ground to make up in the Sun Belt Conference, they do not want their opponents to get ahead of them early and have to start playing catch-up.
Texas State has the talent to create that separation early and maintain that type of lead throughout each set. If the Bobcats can come out prepared and organized early, the moments of brilliance they have shown throughout the season will start to become more and more consistent. Consistency is key with the team.
One true test that will make or break the team as they finish the season is the ability to win on the road. Six of the remaining nine games will be played away from Strahan Coliseum, and the Bobcats are currently 3-4 on the road. This could be easily fixed if they can ride the momentum they have now and continue doing the things that make them successful.
The key players need to keep producing at a high level and continue adding in a little infusion of youth in the lineups. The team must start hot and then finish strong. If they do these things, there should not be much getting in the way of this team moving forward to the Sun Belt tournament.