Bobcats enter 2018 with high expectations
Texas State head coach Karen Chisum handed her players the Sun Belt preseason poll when it came out on Aug. 6.
What they saw was the Bobcats picked to finish first in the conference. But after glancing at it, Chisum had all of them rip the poll to pieces.
Chisum is happy to receive the recognition from the coaches around the Sun Belt, but she wants her team to know what really matters is where the Bobcats stand at the end of the season.
“She did have us rip it apart,” said junior defensive specialist/libero Micah Dinwiddie, who was named Sun Belt preseason Defensive Player of the Year. “Preseason, it’s great for the program but it really doesn’t mean anything until the end of the season when things are set in stone and how you did.”
Texas State enters the 2018 campaign with high expectations after a strong 2017 season where it went 25-10 overall and 14-2 in the Sun Belt, and made an appearance in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
But this year’s Bobcat squad is relatively young with eight freshmen on the 19-player roster. Texas State, however, returns key players in Dinwiddie, seniors Amy Pflughaupt, Madison Daigle, Megan Porter and Halee Brewer. The Bobcats also bring in junior setter Cheyenne Huskey, who transferred in from Florida.
Now Chisum wants Texas State to continue to build chemistry and confidence on the court as it prepares to begin the season.
“We have a lot young kids, new people,” Chisum said. “We have a lot of talent … I cannot complain about work ethic, about enthusiasm, energy. They’ve brought that stuff. You know, we’re anxious to play now. There’s no doubt.”
With high hopes for the 2018 season, Texas State’s players are ready to begin the season.
“We’re expecting a lot,” said senior outside hitter Madison Daigle, who was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt team. “We have high expectations. We have eight incoming freshmen, who came in with a lot of talent, and we have 10 returners. So, we have a lot of experience on the court. We’re looking to win a lot of ballgames and then obviously win a championship in the end.”
Texas State begins the season against stiff competition at the Baylor Invitational. The Bobcats take on Marquette on Friday at 4 p.m., No. 16 Baylor on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and LSU on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“They’re all top 50 teams, but that’s a great thing for us,” Chisum said. “I mean, there’s nobody in our conference that is better than that, and that’s what we’re trying to prepare the kids for conference and getting experience and hopefully getting a little bit of confidence.”
Texas State has talked about its high expectations for the year, but now Chisum wants her Bobcats to go out and prove that they can accomplish their goals.
“They’ve talked all summer,” Chisum said. “They have talked a good game, and like we’ve told them, ‘Talk is cheap. Now we’ve got to put it to action.’ I think they believe. They think they’re really good, but until they do it on the court, it’s talk. We need the action.”