Conference play for Bobcats begins Friday

By: 

Sports Reporter
The Bobcats were defeated Sept. 5 by the Indiana Hoosiers at Strahan Coliseum.

Coming off its three-set sweep of Sam Houston State, the Texas State volleyball team is preparing for the Sun Belt Conference slate.

The Bobcats’ first conference match is Friday night against Georgia State.

Coach Karen Chisum is not concerned with what kind of record the Bobcats have coming into conference play. All that matters to her is whether the team has consistently improved and learned from their losses when they take the court against Georgia State.

“They’re good, they’ve got two good middle blockers and they’re a solid program—I will tell you that,” Chisum said. “They’re a very solid program. We’ve just got to continue to get better on our side of the net and be more consistent.”

The season has been a slow and steady process for Texas State as the team had to adjust to 11 new players, including three new setters. 

Erin Hoppe, sophomore setter, looks more comfortable now in her position on the team following a transfer from the Air Force Academy. Hoppe averages 6.49 assists per set and currently leads the team with 14 service aces. Emily Shelton, junior setter, has provided help with 4.82 assists per set. 

Other newcomers like Morgan Lewis, junior middle blocker, and Jaliyah Bolden, redshirt sophomore middle blocker, have increased hitting for the Bobcats. Lewis is third on the team in kills with 68 and Bolden was fifth with 56 prior to sustaining an injury sidelining her for four to six weeks.

Chisum has been focusing on errors and consistency despite the growth the Bobcats have seen with newcomers and setters.

Errors have hindered multiple games for the team this season. Texas State had four games with 24 errors or more.  In recent games the amount of errors has been reduced, but Chisum said the team needs the number to decrease further before conference play begins. 

Chisum is looking for consistency from the hitters. There have been nine games for the Bobcats with team hitting percentages of less than .300. 

“We just (have) got to keep on working on the kids’ arm swing and their confidence—just swinging and looking at the court and finding the holes, working on different shots,” Chisum said.

Texas State’s first conference game will set the tone for the rest of the season.

“We’ve just got to be more consistent, play better and just fight,” Chisum said.

Follow Jose Campos on Twitter at @josewithaj.