Bobcats fall to Coastal Carolina in Sun Belt championship match

Photo from the Sun Belt Conference

Texas State Volleyball

Texas State’s run to a Sun Belt championship ended in a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 23-25,15-25) loss on Sunday in the conference title game inside First National Bank in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

The Bobcats, who entered the Sun Belt tournament as the No. 2 seed, made their first appearance in the championship match since 2014 on Sunday.

Coastal Carolina and Texas State battled back and forth in the opening set. Neither squad could build a lead larger than three points. With the frame tied at 22-22, the Chanticleers pulled away finishing the set on a 3-1 run to claim a 25-23 win.

Coastal Carolina jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second set, but the Bobcats fought back to tie the period at 8-8. After the set was even at 13-13, Texas State went on an 8-2 run to claim a 21-15 advantage. The Chanticleers fought to within at 23-22 but the Bobcats evened the match with a 25-23 second-set victory.

Texas State began with an 8-3 lead in the third set and held a 12-8 advantage as the frame continued. But Coastal Carolina went on a 7-0 run to grab a 15-12 lead. The set went back and forth and was tied at 22-22. But the Chanticleers took the third-set 25-23.

After the fourth set was tied at 12-12, Coastal Carolina used a 13-3 run to take the fourth set, 25-15, and the match.

“We gave it a good run,” head coach Karen Chisum said. “Those first three games were nip and tuck. It was good, quality volleyball. We played much better than last night (in the semifinal win over Louisiana) until our passing broke down. Our strength all year long has been our offense, and that broke down at the end of the match. Hats off to Coastal Carolina.”

Sophomore outside hitter Amy Pflughaupt led the Bobcats with 13 kills, junior middle blocker Madison Daigle added 12 kills and sophomore Megan Porter recorded 10 kills. Senior setter Erin Hoppe had 30 assists, while freshman setter Brooke Johnson tallied 12 assists. Sophomore libero Micah Dinwiddie had a team-high 24 digs.

Pflughaupt and Dinwiddie were named to the Sun Belt Championship All-Tournament team.

Texas State’s season will continue as the Bobcats have earned an automatic bid into the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. The Bobcats will learn who and where they’ll play after the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday.

Although Texas State will play in the postseason for the time since 2013, Chisum said it’s difficult to look ahead after the loss to Coastal Carolina.

“The disappointment is here,” Chisum said. “The tears were there for the team. But we’ll come back from Thanksgiving and see who we’re going to play. We’ll just refocus and play as hard as we can. This is our first opportunity for postseason in four years, so we’re excited about that.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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