Four Texas State Bobcats were placed on the All-Sun Belt conference teams — Emily DeWalt, Janell Fitzgerald, Jada Gardner and Lauren Teske. DeWalt (pictured above) earned the Sun Belt Player of the Year and Sun Belt Setter of the Year awards. Daily Record photos by Gerald Castillo
Texas State dominates Sun Belt conference postseason awards
Texas State Volleyball dominated the Sun Belt Conference postseason awards with four players — Emily DeWalt, Janell Fitzgerald, Jada Gardner, and Lauren Teske — being named to the All Conference teams.
It’s an honor that Texas State Head Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet says is very deserving for all four players.
“We know any individual award is a byproduct of the team’s success,” said Huiet. “We have had a great season so far, so to have four players be recognized in a league with 14 teams is awesome. I think all four are very deserving of the honors and have been integral in our success during our 14-2 conference run.”
Most notable was graduate senior setter DeWalt, who for the second straight year, won the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.
DeWalt also received her fifth straight Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Year award.
It’s been a dream season for DeWalt as not only has the graduate senior become the all-time leader in assists in program history but also broke the record to become the all-time leader in assists in conference history.
But DeWalt wasn’t the only record-breaking Bobcat to win awards.
Fitzgerald was named the Sun Conference Offensive player of the year for the second straight as the graduate senior became the all-time leader in kills in Texas State program history.
Texas State graduate senior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald (pictured above) was named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year.
The legacy that both DeWalt and Fitzgerald have built in their Texas State careers has Huiet putting both players on high pedestals not only in Bobcat history but also in conference history as well.
“It’s hard to put into words what Emily means to me and this program,” Huiet said. “She will go down as not only one of the best players at Texas State but also in Sun Belt history. I think this season has been one of the more challenging seasons for Janell, because she has been a huge target on all of our opponents’ scouting reports, so she really has had to step up and learn how to make her attack more diverse in order to find ways to score points.”
As both DeWalt and Fitzgerald were also named to the Sun Belt First Team All Conference selection, Gardner and Teske were named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team as well.
As great as those awards were for Texas State, Huiet knows the Bobcats still have another task left to complete.
“We get to celebrate them today,” Huiet said. “Then back to work as we have bigger goals that we still need to accomplish this weekend in Foley.”
Texas State will be looking to win its fourth conference tournament championship in five years.
Texas State will begin its conference-tournament run when it plays the winner of Appalachian State-Louisiana on Friday at 7:30 p.m. inside the Foley Athletic Complex in Foley, Ala.