“We all get teary-eyed when we’re presenting the flowers and doing all the pregame festivities. That part is tough, but it’s easy to lock back in once we get on the court and get started,” said Coach Karen Chisum.
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Texas State volleyball team swept ULM 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-15) on Senior Day Sunday afternoon inside Strahan Coliseum.
The Bobcats (23-8, 14-2 SBC) closed out the regular season by clinching the Sun Belt Conference West Division title outright and officially locking up the No. 2 seed in the 2017 SBC Championship. TXST has earned a double bye and will begin play in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. The tournament is being held inside Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and will be hosted by Arkansas State University.
The shutout over the Warhawks (5-28, 1-15 SBC) was the 13th 3-0 victory over a conference opponent this season, which tied the school record for most sweeps over league opposition in a single campaign (2000).
In Sunday’s tilt, true freshman Tyeranee Scott had a match-high 12 kills on a .429 attack percentage. Junior Madison Daigle and sophomore Amy Pflughaupt both added 10 kills, while fellow sophomore Megan Porter recorded 13 digs. The sophomore defensive duo of Micah Dinwiddie (23) and Mattie Adams (18) also finished with double-digit digs.
TXST honored seniors Jaliyah Bolden and Erin Hoppe prior to the match. Bolden went on to 11 kills on a .269 hitting percentage, and Hoppe posted a match-high 44 assists. She now has 2,859 career assists, which moves her into fifth place on the school’s all-time charts. She’s also No. 2 in school history during the rally-scoring era (since 2001).
Texas State won the opening period 25-15. The Bobcats were slow out of the gates, falling behind 8-4 in the opening set, but they crept back into the match and went on top 13-11. ULM trailed by just two at one point at 16-14, but the maroon and gold ventured on a 9-1 run to close out the frame.
The Warhawks fell behind by as much as four points in the second period, but they used a 4-0 run at one point to move level at 18-18. Texas State used a well-placed timeout to regain momentum, however, and the Bobcats went on a 7-2 run the rest of the way to win the set 25-20.
The visitors led 10-8 at one point in the third, but the advantage quickly dissipated as TXST captured 13 of the final 18 points to wrap up the sweep.
No Warhawk reached double figures in kills. They were led with seven each by Jennifer McClendon and Catherine Griffith. Kacey LeBlanc added 15 digs, and Presleigh Williams distributed 12 assists.
The Bobcats finished with match highs in kills (51-31), attack percentage (.306-.115), assists (50-26), aces (4-0), and digs (76-45). The Warhawks led in blocks (5-3).
TEXAS STATE COACH KAREN CHISUM
On staying composed on Senior Day…
“We all get teary-eyed when we’re presenting the flowers and doing all the pregame festivities. That part is tough, but it’s easy to lock back in once we get on the court and get started.”
On seniors Jaliyah Bolden and Erin Hoppe…
“Those are two special people. I have a lot of respect for them, and I love them. They’ve come a long way in three years. They’ve led this group this year. They are why we are where we’re at right now. I am privileged to be able to coach them. The thing I’m most proud of has been watching them grow. They were pretty timid in their first year with us back in 2015. Watching them come out of their shells and mature has been incredible. I just know they are both going to be so successful after they leave Texas State.”
On Tyeranee Scott…
“We are very excited about her offense. 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.”
On winning the Sun Belt Conference West Division title…
“I’m extremely proud to be able to say we won the division title. 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. (Associate head coach) Tracy (Smith) and (assistant coach) Sean (Huiet) do a great job. This has been a great year. Winning the division is just icing on the cake, but we’re not through. We have a conference tournament to go to and then postseason. There will be postseason for this group, so I’m excited about that.”
On what to expect at the conference tournament next weekend…
“We’re fortunate enough to have two byes, so we are going to enter the tournament in the semifinals. We know it could go a number of ways, but I would anticipate us facing Louisiana. That’s fine with us. They are a great opponent, and we would love to face them again. We always have great matches against the Ragin’ Cajuns. We also would love the opportunity to play Coastal Carolina again. Yes, we beat them once, but they have improved so much since then. 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.”