/Volleyball still on a slump, Dowdall wins award

Volleyball still on a slump, Dowdall wins award

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Wally Pendergrass

Staff Writer

The Trojan volleyball team’s losing streak continued as it lost to Arkansas State and Texas State 3-2 over the weekend, while one Trojan earned a weekly award.

Junior libero Ali Dowdall was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 29. Dowdall set a new school record for digs against Arkansas State with 42 digs. Dowdall leads the Sun Belt Conference in digs with 6.04 digs/set in conference play.

The Trojans got off to a great start against Arkansas State on Friday, Sept. 26, winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-16, respectively. The Red Wolves would come back after halftime and take the next two sets, 25-21 and 25-23, respectively, to force a fifth set.

In the fifth set, the Trojans built a 6-2 lead but the Red Wolves charged back to take an 8-7 lead. The match remained close and the Trojans had two match points, but couldn’t convert and the Red Wolves ended up taking the set 18-16, and the match 3-2.

“We had some great individual efforts,” said head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick, “but we didn’t play well as a team.”

Sophomore outside hitter Kiah Cheatham had 20 kills and an attack percentage of .486 in the match, while Dowdall set the school record with 42 digs and became the first Trojan to have over 40 digs in a match.

The Trojans then hosted the Texas State Bobcats, on Saturday, Sept. 27. The Bobcats came into the match with a 4-0 record in conference play.

The Bobcats came out and took the first set 25-19 but the Trojans would respond and take the second set 25-18 to tie the match 1-1 heading into halftime.

The Trojans would take the third set 25-19 and were looking to take the match but the Bobcats rallied and took the fourth set 25-20.

In the fifth set, the Bobcats jumped on the Trojans early with an 8-3 lead. The Trojans did not give up, as they fought back and even took the lead 10-9.

Following a timeout, Texas State went on a rally and won the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.

“Texas State’s outstanding,” Kirkpatrick said. “I was really proud of our effort, especially coming off the match last night.”

Junior outside hitter Blair Winston had 16 kills, while Dowdall added 26 digs. The Trojans as a team had 16 total blocks.

“We really pushed a good team,” Kirkpatrick said. “I’m disappointed that we lost, but I’m pleased with how we competed and if we compete like that, we will win matches.”

The Trojans are on the road this weekend, facing Georgia Southern on Friday, Oct. 3, in Statesboro, Georgia, and Appalachian State on Sunday, Oct. 5, in Boone, North Carolina. The Trojans host rival South Alabama on Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Trojan Arena.