SAN MARCOS, Texas -In one of the most exciting volleyball matches this season for Texas State, the Bobcats toppled visiting Stephen F. Austin 3-2 (25-27, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-10) in what may be the best match Strahan Coliseum has seen all season. Both teams were leading their divisions entering tonight’s match, but Texas State came out on top tonight. Texas State improves to 17-12, 10-1 SLC, while SFA falls to 16-6, 7-3 SLC.
The match began with a fast paced first set that didn’t want to end. With five lead changes and eight ties the set finally ended 27-25 after a Texas State attack error.
Refusing to give up, Brittany Collins got the Bobcats started after serving three-straight points to begin the second set. The set saw the teams tied at 15 before things started to change. The Ladyjacks were able to find openings past the Bobcats and found themselves ahead 2-0 entering intermission.
With sheer determination the Bobcats decided enough was enough and took control of the match. This time it was Ally Buitron who served the Bobcats to a 5-0 lead before the Ladyjacks could get a point on the board forcing them to take a timeout. Jessica Weynand had three of Texas State’s first-five kills to give the Bobcats a boost. AJ Watlington closed the set on a kill pass the Ladyjacks blockers to give Texas State the set.
Lawrencia Brown had five kills and four digs in the fourth set to help Texas State surge past SFA. The Bobcats saw themselves down by seven before turning the tables on the Ladyjacks. Melinda Cave served nine of the Bobcats 25 points in the fifth set, including serving on the set winning kill by Brown to take the match to five.
The match ended on a Lauren Railey service error but not before Texas State served up five straight points to bring the score to 14-10. Tonight is the fourth time this season that the Bobcats have one in five sets, but tonight’s match was special as the Bobcats proved that they are the team to beat in the SLC.
Brown led all Bobcats with 18 kills (.311) and 15 digs for her sixth double-double this season. Weynand also recorded a double-double as she had 12 kills, 18 digs and three aces. Setters Collins and Shelbi Irvin also got into the double-double action as Collins had 24 assists and 12 digs, while Irvin had 26 assists and 11 digs.
Texas State finished the match with a hitting percentage of .256, while SFA had a percentage of .140; making it the 12th straight match that they have held their opponents to less than a .300 hitting percentage.
The Bobcats return to the court on Saturday, November 1, as they face McNeese State at 7 p.m. Saturday’s match will be the first between the two since the first round of the SLC tournament last year where Texas State beat McNeese State 3-0 to go on and win the title.
by DENISE THOMPSON
Assistant Sports Information Director