While the Texas State volleyball team broke records or came close to records over the past weekend, apparently the Bobcats weren’t done.
Texas State made Sun Belt history by becoming the first team to sweep the conference’s weekly volleyball awards as Janell Fitzgerald won Offensive Player of the Week, Jacqueline Lee won Defensive Player of the week and Emily DeWalt was named setter of the week.
Volleyball head coach Sean Huiet said it speaks volumes for the team to be able to pull off such a feat.
“We are playing at a high level,” Huiet said. “Being able to sweep these three awards is a testament to the team. We say all the time that individual awards come from individual performances, but they need their teammates and the team to earn a bit to get those awards. All three of these kids had some really good numbers this weekend with Janell getting 6.0 kills per set, Jackie digging over 6 balls per set which is really good and Emily was a little stoned but had ten assists per set.
Last weekend, graduate senior setter Emily DeWalt became the all-time assists leader in Sun Belt Conference history with 5,705 career assists.
As Huiet explained, breaking the record is an incredible achievement for DeWalt considering last year when she played injured.
“She’s a special player,” Huiet said. “Most people knew what she went through last year playing a season with a torn labrum and rotator cuff. For her to be able to come back and mark her last year here has been pretty incredible.
But DeWalt isn’t the only Texas State volleyball player who’s on the verge of breaking records, as Fitzgerald is just 11 eliminations away from becoming the all-time leader in the category. in the history of the program.
Similar to DeWalt, breaking the all-time winning record in Bobcat volleyball program history is a major achievement considering the way the team plays.
“Emily and Janell were part of that recruiting class that wanted to do something that had never been done before at Texas State,” Huiet said. “They wanted to put us on the map and achieve great things. Both played a lot in their first year, which gave them the opportunity to break those records. Especially with Janell breaking the all-time record. We’re generally pretty balanced and the fact that she can get as many wins as possible on a team that produces so many players who can kill speaks volumes about her hard work.
While the Bobcats are proud of the accomplishments DeWalt and Fitzgerald have made this year, it wouldn’t be possible without the team’s support.
“The fun thing about our sport is that there’s so much individual stuff going on, but it’s such a team sport,” Huiet said. “Emily doesn’t get assists if she doesn’t get good passes or digs and Janell doesn’t get kills without Emily’s assists and everyone else’s assists. The individual rewards are great and their teammates are always excited for them, but it goes to show that these players wouldn’t get those rewards without a team doing what they’re supposed to do.
Texas State returns to play this Friday and Saturday against Arkansas State.
The Friday tipoff is at 6 p.m. while the Saturday tipoff is at 2 p.m., with all matches taking place at Strahan Arena.