Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Texas State volleyball hosts San Jose State Spartans in first WAC match - University Star (blog)

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The WAC has finally arrived.

The first conference WAC match involving any Texas State sport is happening this Thursday at Strahan Coliseum as the volleyball team looks to shoot down the San Jose State Spartans. The Bobcats will also play the Utah State Aggies, another WAC conference foe, on Saturday.

Texas State has faced NCAA tournament-level talent thus far in the season, so the level of play in the WAC will be nothing new.

“Our team has seen now what the WAC is going to be like,” Coach Karen Chisum said. “The teams who prepared us were the SEC teams, the A&Ms, the Auburns, the Wichita Statesâ€"they are very good. They are very comparable to a couple of our WAC opponents. The rest of our opponents aren’t on that high of a level.”

Chisum said she thinks Texas State is among the middle of the pack in the WAC. 

“San Jose State is very comparable to Texas State,” Chisum said. “It’s going to be a battle. They are right in the middle of the pack, kind of where we are. This first one should tell us a lot about who we are and how badly we want to compete in the WAC.”

The Spartans come into the game with a 4-5 record on the season and will try to win at the net. As a team they have recorded more than 16 blocks in a match three times, including a 19.5 block performance against Oral Roberts that was the best they have had since 2007.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

However, Utah State and Texas State have squared off three times before. After last season’s five-set match victory, the Aggies now hold a 2-1 series lead.

“I think Thursday night will be a real, true test to what it’s like,” Chisum said. “Utah State is a little bit better though. We will prepare for them accordingly, but we just take it one match at a time.”
Utah State is currently on a three-game skid as they make their first trip to the Lone Star State.

They are 5-4 overall and stop at UTSA on Thursday before reaching San Marcos to play on Saturday.

Sophomore outside hitter Alexandra Simms leads the team in kills with 115, which puts her at fifth on the WAC leaderboards. She said the team is convinced they can compete with anyone in their conference.

“I don’t think we need to convince ourselves that we’re at the top level,” Simms said. “We’re just going to keep working hard. Our mindsets are there.”

Both Simms and Chisum said they were excited to open up WAC play and return home to Strahan to compete in front of the fans and student body.

“We’re excited,” Chisum said. “We’ve only played one at home. So, we are excited to be here in Strahan Coliseum. Hopefully we have a good crowdâ€"I think we willâ€"but, yeah. It’s always nice to be home.”

The Bobcats will look to better their 5-6 record and jump above .500. The first game begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Strahan and the second, against Utah State, is at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.

Twitter: @TXStatesman

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