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.
The Texas State volleyball team began WAC play last week looking to improve on a 5-6 overall record against the San Jose State Spartans and the Utah State Aggies.
The Bobcats split the weekend, defeating San Jose State last Thursday and losing to Utah State on Saturday. They now have a 6-7 record for the season (1-1 in the WAC).
Against the Spartans, the Bobcats managed to win not only their first match in the WAC but the first conference WAC game of any Texas State sport.
The Bobcats won the first set 25-23, lost the second 22-25, and won the next two 25-23 and 28-26.
Coach Karen Chisum said the win is already one of the most noteworthy memories of her long and decorated career. It is not the first time the volleyball team ushered Texas State into a new era with a win.
The WAC has finally arrived.
The first conference WAC match involving any Texas State sport is happening this Thursday at Strahan Coliseum as the volleyball team looks to shoot down the San Jose State Spartans. The Bobcats will also play the Utah State Aggies, another WAC conference foe, on Saturday.
Texas State has faced NCAA tournament-level talent thus far in the season, so the level of play in the WAC will be nothing new.
“Our team has seen now what the WAC is going to be like,” Coach Karen Chisum said. “The teams who prepared us were the SEC teams, the A&Ms, the Auburns, the Wichita States—they are very good. They are very comparable to a couple of our WAC opponents. The rest of our opponents aren’t on that high of a level.”
Chisum said she thinks Texas State is among the middle of the pack in the WAC.
The Bobcats took their talents to Dallas to square off in the SMU Invitational this past weekend.
They did not achieve the undefeated success of the Lamar Invitational but did sweep SMU, a Conference USA member, in straight sets. Texas State remained competitive in its losses against Auburn and Wichita State to drop to 5-6 on the season.
Coach Karen Chisum liked that the team showed a more tenacious spirit this weekend, and that its SMU victory gave the players a much-needed boost.
“I think that SMU match really helped us as far as confidence,” Chisum said. “Beating another team in another good conference helps tremendously.”
This was a win the Bobcats needed, although SMU (2-7) might not have a powerhouse program. Auburn and Wichita State, on the other hand, have two rigorous programs that know what Division I volleyball is all about.
Consistency was a major focal point for the volleyball team going into their game against Baylor on Tuesday, but unfortunately they were unable to harness a full set’s worth of it.
The team showed they could compete early, but gave up two big leads late in the first two sets and lost the match in straight sets, 25-22, 26-24, 25-13.
Coach Karen Chisum said there really was no excuse, and the team will face the kind of height and talent displayed by Baylor all season long in Division I play.
“We’re going to see that size all year long,” Chisum said. “I don’t want to use that excuse because that’s what Division I volleyball is going to be about. That’s what the WAC is going to be about. We’ve got to be able to compete with those people.”
The team did not lose a single set all weekend against the competition and is now over .500 (4-3) for the first time this season going into the game against Baylor (5-1) Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Coach Karen Chisum said she was very proud of the results the team achieved last weekend. Chisum also said she was glad to continue seeing signs of progress as the season continues to unfold.
“I thought we did a great job on first contact, which we talk a lot about,” Chisum said. “It sets up what we want to do on offense, and we did it more consistent this weekend. I think we also found a really nice flow through Caleigh McCorquodale. She really stepped up this weekend and ran the offense.”
The Texas State volleyball team is still fresh off of its home opening victory versus Sam Houston State on Tuesday, but will travel Beaumont, Texas this weekend to participate in the Lamar Invitational. The team features Tulane, South Carolina State and Lamar.
The team is now 1-3 on the season, but confident after its SHSU victory. “I think the (SHSU) game gave us some confidence,” said Alexandra Simms, sophomore outside hitter,. “It will definitely help us.”
This will be the Bobcats’ first meeting with South Carolina State, but they have had success against Tu- lane, holding the upper hand with a 4-2 record.
Tulane has not won a game yet this year and sits at 0-3. South Carolina State holds only a 1-2 record. The Cardinals of Lamar are 1-3. Ashlee Hilbun, junior mid- dle blocker, feels the Lamar game is critical to further separate the Bobcats from their former Southland Con- ference competitors, after their home season debut.
The Texas State volleyball team boasts 25 SLC players in the last 32 years, and four were mem- bers of the 2011 SLC championship team. Of those four, one has done it twice: her name is Amari Deardorff.
“My best friend in middle school played, and she really wanted me to play at the time; so I guess that’s really when it started,” Deardorff said.
Had it not been for that friend, Deardorff might have concentrated on dancing and never realized her volleyball potential. “I danced and did ballet for 10 years, since I was three, but once I started playing sports, I was done with dance,” Deardorff said.
The Texas State volleyball team won its home opener on Tuesday against formal conference rivals, the Sam Houston State Bearkats. The win was the Bob- cat’s first of the season.
Texas State handled SHSU both times they faced the Bearkats last year, but the club did as much as they could to turn the tide on Texas State and were willing to scrape for each and every point.
“Offensively, they weren’t near as big as us, but they are scrappy,” Chisum said. “Boy, were they a scrappy team.” It was a match that came down to the fifth and final set.
The Texas State Bobcats just returned from the Texas A&M Invitational at College Station winless.
Texas State lost all three matches against a stout field of competition, which included the fifth-ranked USC Trojans, Texas A&M and North Dakota.
However, Texas State gained some much-needed experience for their younger players, which Coach Karen Chisum believes will prove useful in Texas State’s Tuesday home opener against Sam Houston State.
“[Going into the tournament] we wanted to take each match at a time and get more experience for the kids,” Chisum said. “We were more worried about what we were doing on our side of the court instead of what they were doing on theirs.”