Texas State freshman Shelby Vas Matt goes up for a kill in Thursday’s match.
AUSTIN — Quick. Remember a time when the Texas State Bobcats clawed and scratched for every point against a favored team.
Got it? OK. Erase that from memory, because it pales in comparison to what Texas State did Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, the Bobcats were swept by top-ranked Texas. Texas State hasn’t won a set in The Big Dance since 1998.
Texas State’s Molly Aherns slams home a kill last year.
When members of the Texas State volleyball team and their supporters crowded around the televisions inside Bobcat Nation Bar and Grill on Sunday to find out where the selection committee would send the Bobcats in the NCAA Tournament, most already had a good idea of the destination.
Well, it didn’t take long for the great reveal as Texas State will face the No. 1 overall seed Texas Longhorns in the Austin Regional beginning Dec. 5. Texas A&M and UTSA round out the four combatants.
Members of the Texas State volleyball team pose with the trophy after the win.
If you had money on the Texas State volleyball team being the first Bobcat bunch to win a title in the Sun Belt Conference, you cashed out tonight.
Texas State continued its late-season roll right through the Sun Belt Conference Tournament held in Troy, Ala. The Bobcats dropped just one set over the course of three matches and swept former-and-current conference rival UT Arlington to claim the tournament title Saturday afternoon.
It was quite the balanced effort from Texas State against the Mavericks, as three different players notched 10 or more kills (led by senior right-side hitter Amari Deardorff’s 17). Deardorff hit an ungodly .680.
The Bobcats became the first newcomer to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament since Arkansas State did so in 1991. This also marks Texas State’s ninth conference tournament title.
NCAA regional sites will be announced Dec. 1.
Box Score — Texas State 3, UT Arlington 0
Members of the Texas State volleyball team celebrate the win over Baylor (Photo by Gerald Castillo).
When the Texas State Bobcats last beat the Baylor Bears: Karen Chisum just entered her 17th year as head coach, some of Chisum’s current players could barely walk or talk and Bill Clinton was on the verge of being elected president for his second term. So in other words, it had been a while.
Texas State finally scratched its 17-year itch Tuesday inside Strahan Coliseum in front of 1,014 fans. Behind a tenacious defense and overpowering offense, the Bobcats drubbed Baylor 3-1 and posted their first win over that team since 1996.
Texas State’s Molly Aherns slams home a kill last year.
Wins keep piling up for Texas State.
Through five matches this season, the Bobcats are undefeated. Texas State went 4-0 through its own Delta Zeta Classic with victories over Lamar, Southern Methodist, Quinnipiac and the University of Houston, then went on the road Tuesday and dropped Sam Houston State.
It was a busy week for several teams at Texas State. While the football team had a bye week in preparation of Saturday’s clash at San Jose State, the soccer, softball and volleyball teams were all in action.
On Thursday, the Bobcat softball team took on the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars in an exhibition. Despite a standout performance by senior pitcher Anne Marie Taylor (13 innings pitched, three hits, one run), Texas State dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker. Taylor gave up a solo home run in the top of the 13th inning and the Bobcats stranded eight runners in scoring position throughout the game.
On Friday, Texas State’s soccer team put itself in great position for the Western Athletic Conference Tournament with a 3-0 win over New Mexico State. The Bobcats scored two goals in the second half to break open the game. Senior forward Serena Hines tallied a goal and two assists to pace Texas State.
Then on Saturday, the Bobcat volleyball team won a thrilling five-set match over Texas-San Antonio. Texas State had five players post nine or more kills and sophomore setter Caylin Mahoney (11 kills, 25 assists, 6 digs) had a monster outing.
Texas State head coach Karen Chisum got her wish.
Chisum and the Bobcats earned the university’s first conference win as a member of the Western Athletic Conference last Thursday in a 3-1 victory over San Jose State. Texas State took the first set of the match (25-23), dropped the second (22-25) and won the final two (25-23, 28-26).
There were 34 tied scores and 18 lead changes in the match.
While the Bobcats kept up with Utah State a few days later (22 tied scores, 10 lead changes), they couldn’t get anything going offensively. Texas State committed 27 attack errors and the Aggies were strong at the net in a 3-0 win, turning away 11 attempts.
In each match, sophomore Alexandra Simms led the Bobcats in kills, tying for the team lead against Utah State. Simms has led Texas State in terminated points in eight of its 13 matches in 2012.
The Bobcats return to action Friday night at UTSA.
What’s one more win to Texas State head coach Karen Chisum? After all, Chisum already has 743 of them, which puts her sixth among active coaches in the NCAA.
If Chisum wins match No. 744 tonight when her Bobcats take on San Jose State, it would add another notch to her belt. It would be the first-ever win for the university in the Western Athletic Conference.
“Last year I thought soccer was going to have that opportunity and I was so mad,” Chisum said. “Then I got their schedule and I was like, ‘Yes! They don’t open yet.’ I love that opportunity. You know I want to be first to get that WAC win.”
Senior setter Caleigh McCorquodale agreed with her legendary coach.
“We love the opportunity that we’re getting this year,” McCorquodale said. “The whole team has it in their head to just come out — and like she said — make history for Texas State.”
First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. inside Strahan Coliseum. This will be the Bobcats’ first home match since Aug. 28, when they took out Sam Houston State in five sets.
Earlier today the San Marcos Daily Record released its Bobcat Athletes of the Year. This award is given to the best male, female and newcomer in Texas State sports in a calendar year.
In 2010, Carson Smith (male), Britney Curry (female) and Tyler Arndt (newcomer) hauled in honors.
Now, Casey Kalenkosky, Amber Calhoun/Chandler Hall and Michael Ebbitt are welcomed to the fraternity.
Click here to read the story — Four were best for ‘Cats in 2011
Guess where Texas State is headed to play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
If you said ‘Austin,’ you’d be correct.
The Bobcats open play Friday night inside Gregory Gym on the campus of the University of Texas. Texas State, a No. 4 seed, will play the top-ranked Longhorns at 7 p.m.