By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
Following two wins last week, the Texas State volleyball team goes to this weekend with a chance to clinch its first Southland Conference title since 2004.
The Bobcats are 11-1 in the league (18-12 overall) with a huge match coming up Friday night at second-place Lamar (11-9, 9-2). With wins against Lamar Friday (7 p.m.) and at Sam Houston State (6-5, 11-16) Saturday, the Bobcats would hold a two-game lead, clinching at least a tie with two games remaining.
Texas State would take the tiebreaker by virtue of a win against Lamar and, most dramatically, a five-game victory on Oct. 30 against Stephen F. Austin at Strahan Coliseum.
The Bobcats trailed the match, 2-0, before storming back to win the final three games and dropping SFA to its third loss in the league. The Lady Jacks now are 8-3 in the league and 17-6 overall.
Either the Bobcats won new satisfaction in the rivalry, or SFA endured continued frustration, depending on how one looks at it. SFA had beaten Texas State seven straight times during the regular season, but the Bobcats knocked SFA out of the league tournament the last two years.
The rivalry took another twist when SFA won the first two games last Thursday by scores of 27-25 and 25-20. Yet, the numbers suggested Texas State actually was playing better volleyball in some ways, leading in kills (digs (36-35) and blocks (7-2).
“I looked at the statistics after Game 3 and wondered how we were losing the match,” Texas State coach Karen Chisum said.
Despite two SFA wins, both games were very tightly contested, the leads changing nine times in the first and eight in the second, while each game tied five times.
So, the Bobcats went to the break before the third game, which often has hurt them in matches they led by two games. This time, as they trailed by two games, the break helped.
“The coaches just told us how it was,” said junior setter Brittany Collins. “We came out and played volleyball the way we play volleyball.”
Texas State led all the way in Game 3 for a 25-21 win. In Game 4, the lead changed three times and the scored tied six times before Texas State claimed a 25-21 win.
The match moved to Game 5, with SFA taking an 8-5 lead when the teams changed sides. But the Bobcats rallied with 12 of the next 14 points for a 15-10 win to clinch the match.
“What a great comeback for our kids,” Chisum said.
Outside hitters Jessica Weynand and Lawrencia Brown led the way for Texas State. Brown finished with 18 kills and 15 digs, while Weynand finished with 12 kills and 18 digs.
Two days later, Texas State trounced McNeese State in three games (25-18, 25-12 and 25-18) at Strahan Coliseum, setting up this weekend with a chance to clinch the league’s regular season title.Email | Print