The Sam Houston State Bearkat volleyball team was defeated by the Texas State Bobcats 3-2 in five sets Tuesday night at Johnson Coliseum.
This was the second meeting between the Bearkats and Bobcats, with the first meeting in College Station at the Texas A&M Invitational where Texas State beat SHSU in straight sets. Tuesday also marked the first SHSU volleyball game played in the Coliseum since Nov 14, 2015 after a period of lengthy renovation.
“We couldn’t wait to come up here and play today,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “It’s always nice to play at your own facility, and I think our venue brings a lot of energy.”
It was a very good start for the Bearkats, as they came out energetic and aggressive in the face of the taller Bobcat front line.
“When we see a big team we just go high hands,” senior outside hitter Jordyn Vaughn said. “You’ll hear that all game on the bench. High hands, high hands.”
Vaughn was the focal point of the Bearkat offense early with four kills and four digs in the first set. The Bobcats’ size, however, began to play a major factor late in the first set, giving TSU a 23-19 lead. At that point head coach Brenda Gray called a timeout and rallied her team to score three straight points, prompting a Bobcat timeout.
The Bobcats had the Bearkats at set point seven times, and seven times SHSU won that point to keep the set alive. At 32-31, junior outside hitter Madison Wallace finally finished off the set with her fourth kill for a 33-31 Bearkat win.
The second set was back and forth at the beginning, but the Bobcats took over in the middle. Junior middle blocker Madison Daigle led the Texas State attack in the second set with five kills, and spearheaded the Bobcat defense with five blocks as well.
The third set was dominated by the Bearkats. A renewed energy and enthusiasm powered them to a 25-14 win. Senior outside hitter Brooke White had the offense firing on all cylinders with seven kills in the set, making it 2-1 Bearkats.
The fourth set was back and forth until the end when the Bobcats took over and won the set 25-20. Sophomore outside hitter Megan Porter came on strong at the end of the fourth set with four kills and four digs.
With the match tied up, the Bearkats started the final set strong, getting off to a 6-1 lead before Porter took over once again. Following a timeout by head coach Karen Chisum, the Bobcats went on a 14-4 run to take the set and the match led by Porter’s six kills.
“It was a tough loss,” White said. “But I think we learned our lesson that we have to finish because we kind of let it slip.” Up next the Bearkats will travel to Ruston, LA to play in the Lady Techster Invitational. They will match up against Memphis Friday at 10 a.m. The team will not play another home game until Sept. 26 when the Bearkats take on Nicholls State University.