TXST WACks UTSA
November 12, 2010
The first time Texas State and UTSA met on the volleyball court this season, the Bobcats won a four-set match while flashing some of their best defense of the season. On Thursday evening, the Bobcats showed a different aspect of their game, using an unrelenting attack on offense to defeat the visiting Roadrunners, 3-1 (25-10, 25-10, 22-25, 25-20), in front of a season-high 1,079 fans at Strahan Coliseum.
The Bobcats scored early and often in the first two sets, taking both by the same score, 25-10, to secure control of the match with the help of the loudest crowd of the season. After the Roadrunners rebounded to win the third set, 25-22, Texas State put the finishing touches on the four-set win with a 25-20 victory in the fourth set after leading the entire period.
Texas State improved its record to 18-11 on the season while moving to 11-4 in the Southland Conference. With the loss, UTSA had its 12-match winning streak snapped while dropping to 19-10 overall and 13-2 in conference play. Both of the Roadrunners’ losses in conference have come against the Bobcats.
Offensively, the Bobcats put together perhaps their best match of the season. The team hit .405 – its second best hitting percentage of the season – while recording 61 kills and just 12 errors. Five Bobcats hit .340-or-higher and Bobcat setters hooked up with hitters for kills on nearly 50 percent of their sets.
Senior AJ Watlington led the offensive charge with 18 kills on 31 swings with a .484 hitting percentage. The right side hitter from Aledo, Texas also had 11 digs in the match for her sixth double-double of 2010.
Not to be outdone, senior Mo Middleton continued her string of strong play with a 14-kill performance in which she hit .462. Middleton also recorded a career-high 17 digs to lead the defense to post her first double-double of 2010.
Middle blockers Amber Calhoun and Ashlee Hilbun had strong games on both the offensive and defensive sides of the net for Texas State. Calhoun recorded 11 kills on 23 attempts for a .348 hitting percentage, while Hilbun finished with eight kills on 12 swings for a match-high .667 hitting percentage. The duo combined for eight blocks as Calhoun totaled a team-best five and Hilbun notched three.
The Texas State setters did a fine job of distributing the ball on Thursday evening and putting their hitters in good positions to finish. Caleigh McCorquodale took advantage of her third consecutive start by dishing out 26 assists while connecting with her hitters on 50 percent of her sets for kills. The sophomore also tallied 15 digs in the match to post her third consecutive double-double and team-high 10th of the season. Fellow setter Shelbi Irvin shared the setting duties and handed out 21 assists for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats won the serving battle with five aces for the match; however, that number is not indicative of how significantly the Texas State serve impacted the match. The Bobcat serve routinely caused difficult passes for the Roadrunners and was a major factor in the Texas State victory. Additionally, the team recorded just three service errors in 96 attempts on the evening.
UTSA, the top blocking team in the SLC, out-blocked the Bobcats, 8.0-6.0, while Texas State held a significant advantage in digs with 65 compared to 41 for the visitors.
The Bobcats play next in their regular season finale against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, November 13 at 2 p.m. The match also marks Senior Day for four Texas State seniors who will be playing in their final match at Strahan Coliseum.