Texas State sweeps ULM, claims No. 2 seed in conference tournament

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Volleyball

Texas State had one more opportunity to tweak any aspect of its game with ULM visiting Strahan Coliseum to close out the regular season Sunday. The Bobcats took control of the match early and went on to produce their 13th sweep of the season. The shutout over the Warhawks on Sunday also clinched the West Division Title for Texas State (25-15, 25-20, 25-15).

The Bobcats concluded the regular season with their fifth straight win and a 14-2 conference record. Officially ranked the No. 2 seed, Texas State earned a double-bye to start the Sun Belt Conference tournament. 

“I’m extremely proud to be able to say we won the division title,” head coach Karen Chisum said in a postgame press conference. “It’s amazing to know where we are today from where we started last spring. And it’s all about the players and the staff that I’m fortunate enough to work with on a daily basis.”

The match ended in a sweep, but the Warhawks initially got off to a good start with an early 8-4 lead. Texas State slowly battled back before taking the lead, 12-11. Neither school was able to run away with the set until the Bobcats went on a 9-1 run and closed out the first set, 25-15.

The following set played out in similar fashion with a late-set tie at 18-18. Following a timeout, Texas State regained composure and went on a 7-2 run to pull away. ULM appeared to gain some momentum early into the third set but the Bobcats won 13 of the final 18 points to complete the sweep and close the regular season.

The Bobcat defense prevented any Warhawk attacker from recording double-digit kills during the match. The Bobcats finished with match-highs in kills (51-31), attack percentage (.306-.115), assists (50-26), aces (4-0), and digs (76-45.

Texas State was led by freshman middle blocker Tyeranee Scott with a match-high 12 kills on a .429 attack percentage and one block. Junior middle blocker Madison Daigle and sophomore outside hitter Amy Pflughaupt both added 10 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Megan Porter recorded 13 digs. Sophomores Micah Dinwiddie (23) and Mattie Adams (18) also finished with double-digit digs.

“We are very excited about (Scott’s) offense,” Chisum said. “She’s obviously very young. We’re working very hard on her block. For a freshman, she’s done an outstanding job. I really look forward to having her this spring, so we can really get to train her. She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with the next three years.”

The Bobcats are now looking toward the conference tournament, which will be held inside the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and will be hosted by Arkansas State University. Due to the double-bye, Texas State will begin play in the semi-finals on Friday. 

“We’re fortunate enough to have two byes so we are going to enter the tournament in the semifinals,” Chisum said. “We know it could go a number of ways, but I would anticipate us facing Louisiana. That’s fine with us. That’s who beat us in the semifinals last year. We’re hungry. We want to play more. We know we have already qualified for the (National Invitational Volleyball Championship), but we want to go to the NCAA Championship.”

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