Bobcats sweep Georgia Southern, push winning streak to eight games

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Volleyball

Texas State swept Georgia Southern, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-19), Friday night to notch its seventh-straight Sun Belt win.

Each of the seven victories have come in 3-0 sweeps, and the Bobcats are happy with their current feat.

“We’re pretty proud to have (the sweep streak) in the first place,” senior setter Erin Hoppe said. “So, it keeps going for us and obviously we want to keep it going for us. It’s pretty nice.”

Texas State has come far from its Sun Belt opening loss to South Alabama on Sept. 23. The Bobcats were stunned at the result, but a players-only meeting that lasted 30-45 minutes sparked the team to its current eight-game winning streak.

“That night (after the South Alabama loss) was not something in the past that I experienced on this team,” Hoppe said. “We don’t usually lose the first game. It was kind of a wake-up call, and then ever since then I feel like there’s a different aura in how we know we can be challenged and we know can push back. It’s obviously helped us for the better.”

Texas State’s eight wins since the loss to the Jaguars featured a 3-1 win over TCU, which was its first win over a Big 12 school since Sept. 10, 2013. The winning streak has also propelled the Bobcats to second place in the conference’s west division with two matches against division-leader Louisiana in the next three weeks.

The Bobcats' (16-7, 7-2) sweep over Georgia Southern (7-14, 3-6) inside Strahan Coliseum didn’t come easy as they didn’t put together their best game of the winning streak.

Texas State began the opening set with two service errors allowing Georgia Southern to open a 4-2 lead. But the Bobcats tied the set twice before grabbing a 7-6 advantage. Texas State opened up a 12-7 lead then pushed it out to 17-11. The Eagles used a 5-0 run to cut the deficit down to 17-15, but the Bobcats pulled away to take the first set, 25-19.

Texas State raced out to an early 4-0 lead in the following set. Georgia Southern, however, rallied to even the set 6-6 then 8-8. After the frame was knotted at 11-11, the Eagles scored three of the next four points to open a 14-12 advantage.

The Bobcats used a 6-1 run to take a 18-15 lead. Georgia Southern got to within 22-20, but Texas State secured the final three points to secure the second-set victory, 25-22.

The third set began in back-and-forth fashion but the Bobcats settled in to take a 10-7 lead. Texas State saw its lead swell to 14-7 and 20-13. The Eagles whittled the Bobcat advantage down to 22-18, but Texas State finished the match off on a 3-1 run to claim the sweep with a 25-19 third-set victory.

“Offensively, in the first two sets, when you hit .100 or .117 that’s not real good,” head coach Karen Chisum said. “But the third one, we came along, hit .517 or something that made a big difference. I just think we were gutsy. We stayed in there. Again, it may not have been our best performance but I think the grit, the gutsiness, we stayed focused and rose to the challenge.”

Hoppe said Chisum’s message to the team after the match was simple — Texas State did its job.

“We got another sweep and we’re staying on that sweep streak, and that’s what we hope to do," Hoppe said. "We hope to come out and play our game three times in a row and be able to dominate, and just take care of business.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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