SEE PAGE 8
TURNOVERS COST BOBCAT FOOTBALL IN TOUGH HOME OPENING LOSS
SEE PAGE 7
SEE PAGE 2
AWARDED FILMMAKER GAINS ATTENTION WITH SHORT FILM "BABY NICK"
SAN MARCOS RECEIVES GRANT FOR SINK CREEK COMMUNITY FOREST
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 VOLUME 109 ISSUE 05
DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911
HAVEN ONLY KNOWS Students left confused after apartment construction delay By Laura Figi Life & Arts Editor Editor's note: While reporting on this story, Life and Arts Editor Laura Figi made numerous attempts to contact Haven management and was refused official comment each time over the course of a week. Each year, students leasing at unfinished complexes have to scramble to find places to temporarily stay after move-in promises fall through. The most recent, Haven on Thorpe Lane, has caused quite the uproar. The Haven apartments, located on 316 N Edward Gary St suite D, management team promised an August 26 move-in for its prospective tenants— even in advertisements placed with The University Star—but when the date came and went, students and parents grew suspicious. Even worse, some students were left without a home, still tied to a lease for an apartment with no concrete answers. After a week of attempting to contact the Haven office via phone and email, PR Director Mark Evans via phone and email, Asset Living Regional LeaseUp Specialist Ryan Soderquist via the Asset Living office phone and via direct phone, The University Star was unable to interview anyone affiliated with Haven. Jerretta Pate, mother of a student who leased at Haven, created “Haven on Thorpe is a Joke!!!” Facebook group so students and parents could convene. The
group now has 71 members. Pate said even though her daughter is not currently living there, the family was still required to pay rent for August and September. They did so in hopes of making it easier to break the lease. “We just want to be released,” Pate said. “I do not understand what they’re getting from this in not releasing anybody. It’s like a game with them.” According to the June Multi-Family Project Status Report, Haven will not be completed until 2020. However, Haven
staff maintains their Sept. 16 movein date. Now, students and parents are waiting to either move in or break their leases. Pate took her daughter’s lease to a lawyer, who reportedly told her it was “the worst lease” she had ever seen. The agreement explicitly states the Haven is "not responsible for the delay" if it is due to construction, repairs, cleaning or previous residents. The lease is 48 pages long. “My daughter is homeless,” Pate said. “When she’s sleeping on somebody’s couch I don’t even know, that she just met because they’re a friend of a friend,
that’s pretty much homeless.” Students who leased were offered a move-in agreement that stated, “You’ll move in on time. We GUARANTEE it.” Students were allegedly told if they were unable to meet that promise, they would receive a refund of signing fees, a check equal to a semester’s worth of rent and the option to break their lease. April Lorenz Burke, mother to prospective resident Keegan LorenzOchoa, said she was continually updated about construction and was told by the complex he would still be able to move in on-time. Both Pate and Lorenz Burke said they were turned away and told separately by Soderquist the move-in agreement was a “marketing ploy” that would not hold up in court. “I can absolutely see how kids would believe them,” Lorenz Burke said. “They’re being offered this move-in guarantee, they’re being told it’s done and all it lacks is permits; here’s this great guarantee. Why would you not believe them?” Instead, leasers were given two options: stick with the lease and be put into temporary housing—which could be at various complexes including The Edge and potentially The Woods—or choose their own temporary housing and Haven will waive two months’ rent. Additionally, leasers could sign a form to allow the unit to be subleased, which still leaves them liable for charges until the unit is filled and relinquishes the right to sue. Furthermore, students were reportedly unable to read the lease agreement before signing it on the payment portal. Both Pate and Lorenz Burke said they were advised by lawyers not to take either
option and instead continue to shoot for the move-in guarantee. Pate has a background in construction and realty and said she does not anticipate the complex to be completed by the September deadline. “It’s just so deceitful,” Pate said. “What (the Haven) is telling us is lies. We’re not signing any forms, we’re not doing anything. We’re going off of our move-in guarantee.” Residents were sent a construction update Sept. 3, which stated floors two, three, four and five were “clean complete.” As of Sept. 6, construction workers could still be seen on the fifth floor and there was trash on at least one balcony from every floor. Lorenz-Ochoa, chemistry senior, is currently living in an RV park because he chose not to take either of the two options. While he said RV life is not bad, he does not have WiFi, which makes it tough to do school work. Living in an apartment would make his studies much easier. “No one is living (at the Haven),” Lorenz-Ochoa said. “There is not a single soul living there because you can’t. It’s unlivable.” Another Haven complex is under construction in Huntsville, Texas, near Sam Houston State University. The building is still unfinished as well and projecting the same problems. Additionally, Asset Living manages a complex called The Ridge in Denton, Texas, which had a floor collapse November 2017 during a party. “I don’t think they realize how crazy it drives us,” Lorenz-Ochoa said. “Someone has to do something because this is just going to keep happening where these companies come in and scam us.”
Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center receives $600,000 from Hays County Commissioners Court By Daniel Weeks News Reporter The Hays County Commissioners Court approved a $600,000 donation for the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center to fund the construction of a new housing facility for victims of abuse and violence. The HCWC was founded in 1978 as a professional women’s group hosting workshops for women in the workforce. The center evolved into a shelter for victims of domestic violence as the organization grew, becoming one of the first of 13 shelters and first of six sexual assault programs in Texas. The current housing provided by HCWC operates as a temporary transitional shelter; the new complex under construction will allow victims to reside for longer. The Commissioners Court voted July 16 for the donation to HCWC. The construction of the complex is likely to begin fall 2019 near the original location and is expected to cost over $4 million. Other lesser known programs include educational services provided by HCWC. Full-time educators working for the center educate middle schools, high schools and Texas State on violence
and abuse prevention. The education initiatives cover victimization as well as perpetrator behavior, with an emphasis on forming healthy relationships and teaching consent. Melissa Rodriguez, director of community partnerships at the HaysCaldwell Women’s Center, said she believes Texas education programs generally do not provide sufficient sexual health education, though there has increased awareness recently. “In Texas, there are mandated laws that say schools are supposed to provide sexual health education and dating violence prevention education, but most schools do not know they are required to or they don’t have the means to do so,” Rodriguez said. “They know youth are experiencing these issues; they’re struggling with it and living at homes with it, so we’ve been getting a lot more requests for programming because there’s more awareness.” According to Rodriguez, there are various misconceptions surrounding the HCWC. Qualifications for receiving services from the center solely consist of someone's location. Anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Hays or Caldwell counties have access to the free and completely confidential services provided by SEEEXPANSION PAGE 2
Team USA clinched the gold in the Pan American Games this summer. PHOTO COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS.
Cat scratches the surface Texas State assistant softball coach Cat Ostermann brings home the gold for Team USA on the road to the 2020 Olympics By Andrew Zimmel Sports Reporter After spending over a decade away from playing the sport that brought her international fame, Texas State's assistant softball coach Cat Osterman has brought her talents back in the circle this summer in her former role as pitcher for Team USA. The team braved the sweltering heat to bring back three gold medals in the USA Softball International Cup, the Pan American Games and the Japan Cup earlier this month. Team USA’s first gold of the summer
came in the USA International Cup in Columbus, Georgia in early July. In one of the first showcases of Osterman’s talents since coming back, she came in hot, pitching two 12-strikeout games and leading the team to three victories. In the team’s first test against No. 8 China, Osterman pulled off a shutout and five 1-2-3 innings for a 1-0 Team USA win. Osterman kept momentum and had another shutout game in 6.2 innings against No. 6 Chinese Taipei to secure another victory, and the pitcher started for another comeback 2-1 Japan win to take home the gold and finish the SEE TEAM USA PAGE 8
The University Star
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Artwork at the Hays-Caldwell Women's Center portraying names of people and organizations who donated to the cause. "Creating an environment where violence and abuse are not tolerated in our community" PHOTO BY DANIEL WEEKS
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HCWC. Additionally, while the title of the center features women, HCWC is inclusive to all identities and orientations. Rodriguez wants to raise awareness of the fact men, too, can potentially be victims of abuse and should seek assistance. “We’re not going to end violence just working with women,” Rodriguez said. “Violence can occur in any gender. It’s complicated to talk to young men because there’s all this societal stuff we can’t change overnight, but we make efforts to make sure men know they are
welcome here too and they qualify for services.” HCWC has a project titled Stop the Hurt, an educational resource created to further develop the dialogue forming around sexual health. The center works closely with Men Against Violence to create dialogue across Texas State's campus, especially during Sexual Assault Awareness month in April. Other organizations associated with the center are Not On My Campus and Healthy Cats Peer Educators. T.I. Palmer, UPD investigator, said it is
important to listen to a survivor of abuse, no matter how much time has passed since an incident. “It is important we listen to survivors and everything they say,” Palmer said. “That’s one thing I do when I sit down with a survivor: I listen. I don’t interrupt. Afterwards if I need to ask then I’ll ask. It doesn’t matter if it’s been one year, two years, five years, ten years. At some point, the survivor is going to feel the need to talk and reach out. It has to be on their terms.” The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center is working
toward a future community with no tolerance for violence. The expansion of the center will provide unprecedented benefits for survivors of abuse in Hays and Caldwell counties, but it is the job of the community to promote sexual health education, healthy relationships and self-compassion. Contact HCWC by calling (512)396-3404.
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San Marcos receives grant for Sink Creek Community Forest
By Mia Estrada News Reporter
About Us History: The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday of the spring and fall and once a month in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 4,500. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor-in-chief. Deadlines: Letters to the Editor or any contributed articles are due on Monday the week prior to publication. Corrections: Any errors that are in the pages of The University Star and are brought to our attention will be corrected as soon as possible. Visit The Star at universitystar.com
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In the midst of the Amazon burning and global warming, San Marcos continues to make strides in conserving wildlife and resources. The Trust for Public Land teamed up with the City of San Marcos in 2017 to purchase Sink Creek Community Forest for $1.3 milllion, land located on the outskirts of the city. Located in the Upper San Marcos Watershed, Sink Creek connects directly to the San Marcos River. In 2018, the second round of grants came from the U.S. Forest Service to aid the city in buying the Sink Creek Community Forest over the Edwards Aquifer located off Windemere Road. With the grant being one of its kind in Texas, the opportunity to purchase and preserve the forest was a huge contribution to the Loop and Check project slowly being conducted throughout the city. The purchase of the forest— along with the Loop and Check/ Transportation Masterplan—is a huge endeavor in creating a continuous loop of green space and trails around San Marcos. The forest contributes greatly to the grand project, which could help conserve necessary areas of land throughout the city and preserve species of animals and forest. Drew Wells, interim director of community services, said the partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the potential opportunities that could arise from it will make great progress in conservation for the community. “This is a wonderful opportunity for
the City of San Marcos to partner with U.S. Forest Service to preserve and encourage conservation efforts of this land,” Wells said. “I can’t say enough about how special this partnership is with the U.S. Forest Service along with the first grant of its kind.” The Sink Creek Forest is a major contributor to the Edwards Aquifer, which increases the water quality for approximately two million people in Central Texas. The grassland forest is home to live oak trees like persimmon, mesquite and juniper surrounded by natural limestone cliffs. The forested corridor could potentially be utilized to house endangered species of birds, such as the golden-cheeked warbler and blackcapped vireo. Both species are being rehabilitated in neighboring recovery centers. Kelly Eby, San Marcos urban forester, said the grant allowed an important part of the city to be preserved properly. If the process goes according to plan,
the Sink Creek Forest will eventually be open to the public's use for hiking trails, bird watching and picnic rest stops. “It is really important to provide a buffer to protect water springs and wildlife throughout the forested corridor, but we must be sensitive of the adjacent landowners for the next few years before opening it to the public,” Eby said. Taylor Chevalier, exercise science junior, prides herself on keeping up with the conservation efforts in San Marcos and the efforts implemented around the world. “Hearing about the efforts San Marcos is making toward local conservation brings me hope for the rest of the world that people can bring about great change with little daily efforts,” Chevalier said. More on Sink Creek Forest or any other conservation projects in the works throughout San Marcos can be found on the city website.
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Leadership changes become effective in San Marcos By Sonia Garcia News Editor San Marcos city staff has undergone reorganization of management including appointments of director of public safety, police chief and assistant city manager. San Marcos City Manager Bert Lumbreras announced the three leadership changes Aug. 27 that became effective this month due to reorganization following the retirement of Assistant City Manager Collette Jamison. “Collette’s retirement after 30 years of distinguished service is a huge loss for our organization,” Lumbreras said. “However, I am proud of our effort over the last two years to position ourselves to be able to place the right people in the right places to achieve continued success.” After five years as chief of police, Chase Stapp transitions into the interim director of public safety. This is a new position overseeing police, fire, emergency management, municipal court and neighborhood enhancement. Bob Klett, former assistant police chief for five years, will be taking over as interim police chief. As required by civil service law, the confirmation of the appointment of interim police chief Bob Klett will be considered during the Sept. 17 city council meeting. Stephanie Reyes, former chief of staff for the city manager, was appointed as interim assistant city manager, replacing Jamison. Reyes has spent the last 18 years in various positions within the city. Other positions within the city can be found on the City of San Marcos website.
Interim Assistant City Manager Stephanie Reyes PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF SAN MARCOS
Interim Director of Public Safety Chase Stapp PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF SAN MARCOS
Interim Police Chief Bob Klett PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF SAN MARCOS
SMCISD teacher externship program shows exponential growth By Ziek Sanchez News Reporter A growing program organized by SMCISD in collaboration with Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area and the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce finished its fourth summer of teacher externships. Students were allowed the opportunity to learn real-world career skills through their teachers' experience. The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School Districts’ Teacher Externship Program launched summer 2019 with 26 middle and high school teacher volunteers. The program offers teachers and faculty the opportunity to shadow local business owners and employees to glean skills and insights that can be taught in a classroom setting. Every year, Workforce Solutions reaches out to school districts and the chambers of commerce in the counties of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano and Williamson to organize an externship program. The initiative has consistently displayed a rising number of contributors. According to Workforce Solutions, the total number of educators involved per year with the teacher externships has increased from 20 to 212 in four years, a 960% jump in participation regionally and 73.3% increase in San Marcos. In total, about 75,750 students have been impacted regionally over the course of four years and 9,540 locally. Paul Fletcher, chief executive officer of Workforce Solutions, said for every teacher who participates in shadowing a business, about 200 students are impacted as a result. “Teachers seem to love it; the businesses they go to are very appreciative of having them,” Fletcher said. “Teachers really feel like they learned a real-world application they can take back to the kids.” Megan Balding, health science teacher at San Marcos High School, participated in the externship for her third time and shadowed Premier ER
over the summer. Balding learned the differences between hospital and standalone ERs as well as the aspects of employability. “Every time I do these externships it is so nice because I meet people in the community that can serve as guest speakers for the kids,” Balding said. During the program, teachers volunteer and local businesses are contacted through the Chamber of Commerce. The types of businesses involved have varied in range from manufacturing to hotel management. Insight on over 50 different subjects have been explored through shadowing businesses. According to Mike Doyle, federal program director of SMCISD, finding businesses to accept teachers was not a problem. “Our business community is amazing in the fact we get an overwhelming response," Doyle said. "The businesses are very open to our teachers." After businesses and teachers agree to participate, they are paired based on a set of criteria that takes into consideration what the teacher instructs and what they would like to learn. Teachers spend one day on orientation, three days of working on site with their business and a final day to develop curriculum for their students. Although the program lasts for five days, an effort is made by teachers to make the most of their time even after the externship is long over. Jason Mock, chief executive officer of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, said it has been a win-win for both the teachers and businesses. “The program has opened doors lasting longer than the three days (on site) and has allowed businesses to become engaged with both teachers and students throughout the school year,” Mock said. With positive feedback and productive results, the program is expected to grow. The more teachers that volunteer to participate, the more students will be impacted.
SMCISD teachers collaborated with local bussinesses this summer. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE DOYLE
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Jordan Drake Opinions Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Opinions expressed in The University Star are not necessarily those of Texas State University’s administration, Board of Regents, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, or Student Publications Board.
San Marcos no longer a safe city to reside By Delilah Alvarado Opinion Columnist San Marcos is known for its charm and local fun for families, students and passersby. The community is close and continuously thrives as residents from San Antonio, Austin and surrounding areas visit for school or activities. However, San Marcos is no longer the small town safe community it once was. The crime rate has gone up, threatening the safety of residents. In 2019 alone, there have been burglaries, a murder-suicide and sexual assaults. With crimes happening seemingly one after the other, it begs the question of security in San Marcos. According to the San Marcos Police Department, there have been 76 violent crimes and 150 property crimes through April, both expected to exceed previous yearly highs. As the population continues to increase, so do crime rates, making San Marcos less of a worryfree campus. With the fall semester freshly started, a string of incidents has already occurred back-to-back. Just before the semester began, a man was arrested Aug. 23 for a string of armed robberies at The Cedar Apartments. The week prior to the fall semester, a homicide occurred at Veterans Park Aug. 24, five minutes by car from campus. Several days later, a SWAT team was called Aug. 27 after a terrorist threat, theft and attempted kidnapping suspect was held up on the 700 block of Bishop Street. The suspect was captured but left a sense of unease as students were returning to their homes away from home. Student apartments are ahead of the elderly when it comes to being targeted for burglary, since student living tends to provide opportunities for thieves. Most student-living apartments do not come with quality security systems—if anything besides a basic house lock.
A series of rapes and aggravated assaults occurred in a short amount of time between late April and early May 2019 in three different student apartment complexes. The suspects lived in the same off-campus housing, which shows how easily a student can fall victim to crime. On the peak is the Iconic Village apartment fire; the suspect has yet to be caught, leaving the community of San Marcos reeling. The threat to safety is not solely from off-campus housing but can be felt on campus as well. In 2018, white supremacist business cards were found on campus. This type of propaganda is nothing new since in 2017, a white supremacist banner was strewn across Alkek Library. In May 2019, a fight broke out after a protest on campus left four students arrested after reports of a conservative group called the Texas Nomads were coming to campus. Such threats can be common on college campuses, but the weight of the potential danger plays a greater role when over half of enrolled students are minorities. San Marcos no longer feels safe. It does not feel safe to walk around the city at night; it does not feel safe in an apartment. There should be no doubt violent crime is on the rise, which demands more attention to protect the student population and locals. With the freshmen class growing each year, the problem is likely to expand as well. College towns all have ups and downs, but San Marcos is visibly losing its charm, which can turn students away, or worse, students are more likely to come in harm’s way. An influx of students is making San Marcos their home for the next few years or more, meaning there needs to be additional protection services to compensate for this increase. Students must become more aware as this trend only seems to be intensifying as the years go on.
San Marcos remains a safe place to live By Laura Nunez Opinion Columnist There has been an increase in crime reports within the past year, creating concern in the community about whether San Marcos is still safe. However, believing safety is ever fully guaranteed is ignorant. The simple act of driving a car is the most dangerous activity a human being performs, yet thousands of people drive every day. San Marcos is still relatively safe. The City of San Marcos is inhabited by over 63,000 residents. The population has continuously grown year after year and does not seem to be stopping or slowing anytime soon. The current freshman class broke records and became the largest group of students Texas State has ever received. The students who choose San Marcos as their new home did so with the impression it was a safe and dependable city to live in; they were not wrong. Earlier this year, there were five homicides reported, devastating the San Marcos community. People can never really anticipate danger unless, of course, it is foreseen. Society can only be prepared for what could come. However, to question the safety within the city because of such acts is premature. The majority of the homicide cases were interpersonal; the victim and the attacker knew each other in some way. Although crime rates in the area have seen a spike, the question of safety in San Marcos should not be of concern. Safety should be questioned when acts of unmotivated evil and chaos are committed continuously. This is not to say San Marcos does not experience its fair share of crime, but no one should panic over high-profile, news-making crimes; this is inevitable anywhere, as long as people have media access. The chances of falling victim to violent crime in San Marcos is 1 in 284 in comparison to the state of Texas, which is 1 in 228. Ironically, as crime increases, so do security and resources. In fact, The San Marcos Police Department is generously staffed with 158 full-time law enforcement
employees and has taken serious action as the state of the city evolves. The current SMPD staff is the largest it has ever been. After several rape incidents were reported last semester, the city police worked to find the suspect quickly and efficiently. Law enforcement officials were constantly releasing updates and sketches to keep the community informed. Additionally, Texas State provides several outlets for students to feel safer while on campus. Emergency call boxes are located around campus to directly connect students to UPD once the blue button is pressed. TXState Alerts system was created so students receive a text when there is an emergency in the city or on campus. Resources are limitless when it comes to student safety. San Marcos is not unsafe, but the reality is crime is inevitable. Sociologist Emile Durkheim theorizes crime is necessary because it affirms social boundaries and pushes society toward necessary evolution. A high crime rate is concerning and unwanted, but again, crime is unavoidable in any decently sized city. No real solution exists to prevent the slight paranoia felt when pumping gas at the convenience store on the corner or the inclination to double-check dead bolts are locked on the front door before going to bed. However, this is likely due to the negativity bias, where bad things are amplified and the good is ignored so it seems like crime happens around the clock. However, this is human nature and does not reflect reality. San Marcos is nearly in the middle of Austin and San Antonio, so it is a busy, ever-growing city acclimating to what soon could be overpopulation. Understandably, the concern for safety will continue to be in conversation as crime reports further increase and become publicized. San Marcos remains a safe and reliable place to build a family, pursue a college education or float the river. The community and student body should work together to keep the charisma of the city alive, not promote negativity and diminish its charm.
Take out your earbuds and enjoy the live scene By Elisabeth Harper Opinion Columnist A brief walk around campus will expose observers to the evidence of music’s symbiotic relationship with society. Students pass with a set of buds wedged into their ears as they silently jam out to their favorite tunes. However, Billie and Posty might be inadequate replacements for MP3’s neglected relative: live local music. Music therapy has shown great success, especially in the realm of anxiety and depression. It is no wonder why creating a microcosm would hush the tumultuous mind of an active college student. With the emergence of portable and digitalized music, an era has surfaced where individuals stumble around lost in their own private concerts, highlighting the relevance of the expression “alone in a crowd." Looking back at music’s origin, its ancient relevance resided in the ability to unite cultures through religion and rituals. Individuals suffer deprivation of desired social interaction when they continuously withdraw themselves to enjoy music in solitude.
Located just thirty miles south of Austin, San Marcos has no shortage of the traditional rapport music was founded on. A fresh influx of Austin style can be seen throughout town in nearly all the local bars and coffee shops. Hardly a night can be found—even during the school week—where a few bucks won’t find someone bobbing their head to some rustic acoustic guitarist or a jazzy-pop electric band so close audiences can see the beads of sweat running down their cheeks. Students should feel encouraged to burst forth from their private sphere and feel the medicinal magic of music through their feet instead of just their ears. What are people doing to exploit the extraordinary reservoir of music right up the road? Not enough. Rumors have seeped around town regarding the closure of yet another popular music venue: The Buzzmill. Advocates of the San Marcos music scene might have met Guitar Steve, a regular attendee of Buzzmill’s weekly Monday open mic night. Having resided in San Marcos for over ten years, Steve recalled at last week’s open mic myriad coffee shops and local
bars keen to the music crowd have closed their doors over the years. Oftentimes, these locations will close only to be reopened under new management, aesthetic and name, losing everything that made it unique in the process. An example of this is Kiva—one of San Marcos' liveliest music venues— which has had a line of former identities, including its time as Taxi’s Piano Bar. Perhaps the most grieved ghost in the graveyard of the city's music forums was Triple Crown. This timeless hub featured a wide variety of music every night of the week, embodying the true spirit of music by appealing to foot-tappers of every sort. The crowd-favorite was lost in the ruin that made way for The Local apartment complex. The growing population of San Marcos runs a risk of losing one of its ILLUSTRATION BY JADEN most uniquely charming facets: its music EDISON scene. If local venues could embody the diverse demographic of San Marcos’ the fellowship and refreshingly breathy student and civilian population through quality live music offers as opposed to its performers they host, businesses could polished, shallow alternative. possibly compete with the sundry appeal portable music offers. Similarly, new students should take advantage of
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Opinions expressed in The University Star are not necessarily those of Texas State University’s administration, Board of Regents, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, or Student Publications Board.
Stop confusing nerves with anxiety By Amira Van Leeuwen Opinion Columnist College students may easily feel anxious trying to balance school, family and friends, all while trying to figure out what they want to do with their life. Students new to the college scene might struggle for a few weeks while getting acclimated to campus life and feel overwhelmed and experience anxiousness. These feelings are normal and not some type of anxiety disorder. While people should feel free to talk about their experiences, it seems too often college students claim anxiety when they are talking about every day run-of-the-mill nerves. General anxiety can be defined as a disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is nothing there to provoke it. There are five types of major anxiety disorders, including but not limited to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder). When someone claims they have an anxiety disorder, they are talking about a crippling, life-long illness, not nervousness of going to a party or butterflies before a big test. The five most common anxiety disorders listed previously come with different characterizations. For example, someone suffering from a panic disorder might have common episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical chest pains and heart palpitations; whereas those who suffer from a social anxiety disorder might fear public speaking or eating in front of others. On the other hand, people who get nervous tend to feel it
ILLUSTRATION BY JADEN EDISON
for a shorter period of time. Anxiety disorders and feeling nervous differ when it comes to the length of experience time as well as the characteristics of each type of experience. These anxiety disorders should not be minimized or misconstrued. In breaking down the connotation of the word "disorder" versus "feeling", people would understand the two are different. Disorder describes mental illness whereas the word feeling is
a broader term used to describe a magnitude of various types of feelings ranging from happy and excited to sad or angry. Normally, people do not ask what type of anxiety a person has, which allows them to assume they have an anxiety diagnosed by a doctor. This kind of behavior has become a common theme surrounding conversation about anxiety. As a result, it has become “normalized” within today’s society. Normalization
can often lead to misunderstandings between people who claim they have anxiety versus those who are clinically diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This makes it more difficult to improve dialogue surrounding anxiety disorders and generally leads to uneducated thoughts and opinions about what anxiety actually is and feels like. What people commonly mistake for anxiety is often just nerves, a feeling everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Feeling nervous is typically a daily occurrence throughout a person’s life, but it does not interfere with our daily activity. Anxiety, on the other hand, has the ability to make a person feel sick causing headaches, diarrhea, and tremors. Nerves do not normally have the same symptoms since it is a fleeting feeling. Consider a person had said, “I know exactly how you feel. I almost had a panic attack while taking that test today.” Comments like these can dismiss the feelings of a person who is actually suffering from anxiety. The term “anxious” plays a large role among college students. Since the conversation surrounding mental health has grown, so has the ability to comprehend the different types of symptoms that come with mental health disorders. It is vital to understand the difference between anxiety and feeling nervous. This will allow more opportunities for people who are suffering to come forward and realize they might not just have the classic case of nerves but a serious disorder, while minimizing the insensitivity shown by those who throw around the word aimlessly. Nerves and anxiety are not interchangeable words.
A Message to the Campus Community at Texas State University Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity has withdrawn the charter of its chapter at Texas State University. The chapter is no longer recognized by the Fraternity or by the university. Any individuals or group of individuals currently representing themselves as “Delta Tau Delta” or “Delts” are not authorized to do so. Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity is prepared to take any reasonable action to protect against unauthorized use of its name, logo or inference to ΔΤΔ. If you are aware of any individuals currently operating or condoning operation of a group on campus using the Delta Tau Delta name, please share this information with the Delta Tau Delta Central Office and Greek and campus community immediately. Delta Tau Delta hopes to return to Texas State University at a future date as recognized by the university, operating within the guidelines of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity and with the support of its alumni. Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity firstname.lastname@example.org
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The University Star
6 | Tuesday, September 10, 2019 Laura Figi Life & Arts Editor email@example.com
LIFE & ARTS
Student organization preserves Mexican culture through dance By Brianna Benitez Life & Arts Reporter Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli is an organization dedicated to preserving the legacy and pride of folklórico dance and tradition. Folklórico is traditional Mexican folk dancing that focuses on showcasing Mexican culture through elaborate costumes, choreography and scenery. GFO has been a student organization at Texas State for over Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli performing at the "Soy Méxicano" show May 20 years. Ten students 2019. joined together PHOTO COURTESY OF ADRIANA MIRANDA November 1993 to perform a traditional Hispanic Welcome Reception currently rehearsing for an encore folklórico dance at the annual his freshman year. He was first showing of "Soy Mexicano," a homecoming talent show. After introduced to the dance style performance done in May 2019. winning the event, the group in high school when he was a The production will feature decided to form an official student member of a similar folklórico GFO as well as two other student organization. group. However, unlike GFO, organizations: Mariachi Nueva GFO consists of eight members Estevez said he was directed by an Generacion and Mariachi Lince and is directed by Victor Briseó, instructor that did not work well de Oro. music education senior. with the group. The production showcases a As director, Briseó focuses on "I was under an instructor story following two Mexicanchoreographing the organization's that saw us as children," Estevez American high school students, performances. Briseó said he has said. "Here in GFO, I have a Art and Brenda, played by musical been dancing folklórico for over chance to voice my input and artists.The story revolves around 15 years and was introduced can communicate with my group Art and Brenda's experience as to the dancing by his father, a when we have our differences." they travel to Mexico for a family professional folklórico dancer and Estevez said performing with reunion. instructor. GFO gives him the freedom to GFO will represent the Briseó has been a part of GFO express his concerns and allows Mexican regions of Veracruz, since his freshman year. He said him to work together with a like- Jalisco and Aquas Calientes in being a member has provided minded and talented group of their performance. him with a support system and individuals. Lisette Sandoval-Perez, theatre connected him with individuals Adriana Miranda, nutrition education junior, serves as GFO's who share a similar passion for and foods junior, has been in manager and is responsible folklórico. GFO for two years and serves for organizing meetings and "When I first came to Texas as historian. Miranda has been performances. State, I didn't know anyone and dancing folklórico since she was Sandoval-Perez said attendees of I felt really alone," Briseó said. 10 years old. the "Soy Mexicano" performance "Being in GFO has helped me Miranda joined GFO as a way can expect to witness an amazing come out of my shell and realize to embrace her Mexican culture show. All music will be performed there are people I can count on." and continue her love for dancing. live by Mariachi Nueva Traditionally, folklórico "When I came to Texas State, I Generacion and Mariachi Lince performances represent a specific didn't really have a lot of Mexican de Oro. region of Mexico. The way friends," Miranda said. "There "It's going to be grand," folklórico performers dress plays a weren't a lot of people I could Sandoval-Perez said. "There’s vital role in how they express the relate to and I wanted to find going to be so much going on and distinct region's culture. something where I could spread it's a show people will miss out on Dan Estevez, biochemistry my culture." if they don’t attend." senior, is GFO's wardrobe Miranda said anyone interested Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli manager. Estevez is responsible in GFO can join; no dance will perform "Soy Mexicano" for ensuring members have the experience is required and Sept. 14 and 15 at the Magik proper attire to appropriately students from any background Theatre at 420 S Alamo St. in represent the regions they embody are welcome to participate. San Antonio. For performance in their performances. Estevez "We want people who like times and tickets, visit the Magik said if the group was to perform a dancing and want to learn about Theatre website. dance influenced by the Mexican Mexican culture," Miranda said. To stay up-to-date with Grupo region of Jalisco, they would wear GFO holds rehearsals every Folklórico Ocotochtli, follow multi-colored costumes. Tuesday and Thursday from 7 the organization on social media Estevez said he was interested to 9 p.m. in the Music Building, @txstgfo on Instagram and in joining GFO after he saw room 222. Facebook. the organization perform at the Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli is
Endowment honors legacy of student By Sonia Garcia News Editor After watching their daughter succeed at Texas State, it only seemed appropriate for the Landrum family to honor her academic success by helping out other students. It has been a tough six months for the Landrum family, who lost their daughter Brihana Landrum, Texas State alumna, Feb. 17 to a murder-suicide. Bret and Mary Landrum are sharing their daughter’s legacy by working on the establishment of an endowed scholarship in her name. The day of her funeral service, it became evident to Bret and Mary they needed to honor their daughter in a more permanent way. Brihana was the light of their lives who had a bright future ahead of her. “Students who will be applying for the scholarship will get to know who (Brihana) was, her passions, her dreams and in some way carry out her dreams and legacy,” Mary said. After only two months of planning, donations began flooding in for the Brihana Rea Landrum Scholarship, which went up on the University Crowdfunding page Aug. 5. In just a week, the donation amount had nearly reached $25,000, the university minimum to become a permanent and reoccurring scholarship or endowment. Currently, there are over 150 donors and $31,000 has been raised of the $50,000 goal. In 2018, 66 new endowed scholarships were made accessible, an all-time record high. The scholarship in Brihana’s name will be available on the Bobcat Online Scholarship System. Kristi Poe, director of development in University Advancement, said she is impressed by the strong familial support raising the minimum amount already. “I’m honored to be the one to help (establish the scholarship) and I’ll be really happy when we award the first one,” Poe said. “It’s a hard thing to (to raise this amount of money) but the family has really been proactive, and it’s obvious they want to honor their daughter through this.” Two fundraisers are being organized for the fall and spring semesters to continue raising funds. A friend of Mary’s—Robert Tomlinson—will be leading a motorcycle run October 2019 sponsored by Ducati Austin. In the spring, an annual event featuring a silent auction will take place in Brihana’s name to raise money for the scholarship. “I just wanted to do something so everyone would remember her and know who she was,” Tomlinson said. The more money raised equals more students that can be awarded or the higher the award can be per student. The scholarship has surpassed $25,000 so it will be up to Bret and Mary to split the money for multiple students or award one student. The Landrum's set the criteria for the scholarship so anyone in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences—Brihana’s undergrad and graduate school—could apply. The only requirements for applicants are they have at least a 3.0 GPA and are a student in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences. The Landrum's have kicked off this journey in honoring their daughter and hope to do more in the future. On a regular basis, Mary said she hears about how her daughter affected people in a positive way, even those she did not know. Bret and Mary said they see Brihana in everything they do and she makes them better people. “I try to emulate who she was; I was supposed to be teaching her but she ended up teaching me. She was so special,” Mary said. Another day goes by and in their pain, Bret and Mary pray their daughter’s favorite prayer daily. It has become a routine that gets them through another day without Brihana.
The University Star
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 7
LIFE & ARTS
Laura Figi Life & Arts Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Snapshot of Russell Reed, director of the short film "Baby Nick." PHOTO COURTESY RUBEN CABALLERO OF CABALLERO PICTURES
Canu Abel (Xavier Alvarado) from the short film "Baby Nick" assisting his Aunt Bridge (April Patterson) down the porch steps. PHOTO COURTESY RUBEN CABALLERO OF CABALLERO PICTURES
Sahar Nicholas (Collins Uzowulu) from the short film "Baby Nick" practicing his boxing technique. PHOTO COURTESY RUBEN CABALLERO OF CABALLERO PICTURES
Official Poster of the short film "Baby Nick" featuring the two main characters, boxers Canu Abel (Xavier Alvarado) and Sahar Nicholas (Collins Uzowulu). PHOTO COURTESY RUBEN CABALLERO OF CABALLERO PICTURES
Awarded filmmaker gains attention with short film "Baby Nick" By Abby Gutierrez Life & Arts Reporter He cried out in terror as he bolted down the porch steps, rushing toward his daughter, “No, no, no! Amani!” All it took was one second for tragedy to strike, for the gunshots to go off. Suddenly, no longer is it just any other ordinary day filled with laughter and boxing lessons. Instead, it is one marking the life-altering event that would change his life forever: the death of his on-screen daughter, Amani Nicholas. The short film “Baby Nick” introduces two amateur boxers: Sahar Nicholas and Canu Abel. The two begin their individual journeys toward becoming better men and human beings mentally, spiritually and physically in the midst of struggling with loss, grief and constant tribulation. The film was directed by Texas State marketing senior Russell Reed. Reed credits success to his mom, who encouraged him to take his first theater class in high school. His passion for scriptwriting ignited when he began writing and directing theater plays during his high school years. “My mom is the reason I do what I do; she doesn’t even know it,” Reed said. With the intention of exploring his passion for acting, Reed created a YouTube channel in college where he could express himself through short
videos and comedy skits. “Eventually, I wanted my videos to look better than they did, so I started to research,” Reed said. “In that process, I actually fell in love with storytelling behind the scenes.” After seeing potential in a two-minute snippet he shot early January 2019, Reed shot the full short film, now called "Baby Nick," February 2019 and entered it into a music film festival: Gentleman Jack Real to Real Short Film Contest. Though "Baby Nick" did not win the $10,000 prize money, Reed saw potential in the storyline he had created and continued to submit the short film to various other festivals across the country and world. So far, "Baby Nick" has screened in a New York Online Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and in the Capital City Black Film Festival in Austin, Texas, Aug. 30. Reed said he found inspiration for the short film through his own naturally optimistic outlook on life as well as personal past experiences and struggles. “I’ve gone through some really tough things in my life,” Reed said. “Now I am more educated and more cognoscente of the world around me so I’m able to wrap that all together and hone in on what the problem is.” Reed said he is passionate about the film’s potential to impact people’s lives solely through a change in perspective. “A lot of people are struggling and
dealing with things that are maybe 20 times or even 50 times harder than what (someone else) is going through,” Reed said. “I want people to realize how grateful they are for the life they have.” Xavier Alvarado, who plays Canu Abel in the film, was personally impacted by his involvement with “Baby Nick” and said it challenged him to think about how he could make every moment in life count. “People should know it’s a privilege to be able to turn their head left and right, to walk, to sit in a car (without feeling) pain,” Alvarado said. “I won’t take people for granted because something can happen in a moment’s notice, at any second.” For the project, "Baby Nick" creators rented a camera from Austin Movie Gear rental company, paid for person-to-head sound and split up the total budget cost of $400. While rolling on a tight budget, Reed said he could not think of a better way to connect to his actors during certain scenes involving pain or discomfort. “If the story embodied struggle or a certain type of mood, then it only felt right I would focus myself and struggle through it with (the characters),” Reed said. “(The actors) may be feeling hurt in the scene but I was hurting too because I’d be squatting to get the shot.” Collins Uzowulu, who plays Sahar Nicholas or “Baby Nick," said the motion
picture is unique and different from other boxing films because the storyline features two protagonists instead of one. “There’s no antagonist and it’s very motivational,” Uzowulu said. “You’ll feel like you can come out of anything as long as you fight for it.” Reed, Uzowulu and Alvarado are now looking to turn the roughly 10-minute short film into a full-length movie, which will expand on the storyline and themes of struggle, love and tribulation. Reed plans to start shooting the feature December 2019. “I see ‘Baby Nick’ being in theaters one day," Uzowulu said. "I think the film has the potential of being picked up by a distributor like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video. I think everyone should watch the film because it’s real and uplifting.” Reed has high hopes for “Baby Nick” and wants audiences to understand the strength within each and every individual person. “Ultimately, what I want to do with this film is get everybody, black, white, green or blue, to understand whatever you are going through, you can come out of it stronger and a better person,” Reed said. “Baby Nick” will be screening at the Lights On Festival in Concord, California, Sept. 14. The film has been selected to screen in the Los Angeles Liftoff Film Festival Sept. 24 in Los Angeles, California.
The University Star
8 | Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Claire Partain Sports Editor email@example.com
FROM FRONT TEAM USA tournament. Osterman allowed only one run and one walk for the entire tournament and said that's when it all started to come together. “When we got to Georgia, the first game I threw was against China and I felt pretty good there,” Osterman said. “That was the first time everything was clicking. Then we played Taipei, which was one of the TV games that a lot of people saw, and I really was clicking on all cylinders. Then I started the gold medal game (against Japan) and even in those three innings I felt like I was close to 90-95% of what I am capable of, in my opinion, and I felt really good." At the Pan American Games, Osterman once again proved herself, striking out 13 hitters in a USA 6-0 victory against Puerto Rico. The United States finished the tournament winning their second gold medal of the summer. In the Japan Cup, Osterman continued to bend hitters to her will, showing her impressive skill set by coming out of the bullpen and securing the win for Team USA in the third game and getting the win after striking out four batters in 3.1 innings. In the title game, Osterman again came to save the day, securing another win against Japan with 2 innings of relief work with three strikeouts and only allowing one hit for a 3-2 final. Osterman and Team USA racked up passport stamps and travel stickers
this summer, playing anywhere from Chicago, Illinois and Columbus, Georgia to Peru and Japan. Osterman said this was just another day on the job for her on the team which previously brought her to destinations such as the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. “It wasn’t my first time (in Japan),” Osterman said. “I’ve traveled there multiple times with Team USA in my ten years prior to playing this summer.” Osterman has received nothing but support from fans and the softball community as she returns to Team USA. “I don’t think I had a performance this summer that you could question if I (can) still do this or not.” Osterman said. “When I announced that I was coming back in October of 2018, I expected a few more people to question it or say ‘you’ve already done it, let someone else have a chance’, (but) I could count on one hand how many were negative.” Now back at Texas State, Osterman gets to slow down a bit before having to juggle training with Team USA and helping Ricci Woodard and the Bobcat softball team get back to the top of the mountain. “I love being around our girls, obviously, and getting to share how the summer went with them,” Osterman said. “It was fun that I got to see quite a few of them come see (Team USA) play our exhibitions in Houston.”
Texas State assistant coach Cat Osterman already has three gold medals under her belt as leftie pitcher for Team USA. PHOTO COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS.
After a summer where Osterman was as good as they come, she now has plenty of new tips and tricks to help her coach her team in the future. “Getting back in the circle refreshes me on the mental and emotional struggles you go through,” Osterman said. “Being able to not use examples from three of four years ago but from three weeks ago and talk to them about it, being able to get back on that level of ‘what we think is easy really isn’t’. We talk a lot about buying into the process. As much as I preach it, I had to learn how to do it again this summer because I wanted to be able to be at my peak as
quickly as possible.” After going all over the world, one of the biggest things Osterman said she is looking forward to is taking a few weeks to settle down. “The first week (of sleeping in my own bed) is great,” Osterman said. “It’s one of those things where you go from hotel to hotel, and roommates and time zones. Consistency is always nice.” Next up for Osterman is a balancing act between work and play as she coaches the Bobcats in their 2020 season and prepares for her own performance in the 2020 Olympics this summer.
Editor's note: The University Star sports and editorial staff, as well as a guest picker each week, predict the outcomes for the coming week of the college football schedule. This week goes as follows. Citadel @ Georgia Tech 12:30 P.M. Sept. 14 at Bobby Dodd Stadium Atlanta, GA. Stanford @ UCF 2:30 P.M. Sept. 14 at Spectrum Stadium Orlando, Fla. Texas State @ SMU 6:00 P.M. Sept .14 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium Dallas, Tx.
JAKOB R. RODRIGUEZ (4-2)
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Georgia Tech UCF SMU
CLAIRE PARTAIN (6-0)
SPORTS EDITOR Georgia Tech Stanford SMU
COLTON MCWILLIAMS (4-2)
SPORTS REPORTER Georgia Tech UCF SMU
ANDREW ZIMMEL (4-2)
SPORTS REPORTER Georgia Tech UCF SMU
GUEST PICKER (4-2): JADEN EDISON, MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Guest picker record: last set by Larry Carlson, senior Lecturer, School of Journalism and Mass Communication (4-2) Georgia Tech Stanford SMU Last Week's scores: 23-14 Wyoming 45-38 LSU 63-14 Baylor
Texas State returner Jah'mare Sheread (1) returns a kick Sept. 7 at Bobcat Stadium. PHOTO BY KATELYN LESTER
Turnovers cost Bobcat football in tough home opening loss By Colton Mcwilliams Sports Reporter The first home game for the Texas State football team ended in disappointment last Saturday as the Bobcats fell to the Wyoming Cowboys 23-14. The loss dropped Texas State to 0-2 while Wyoming improved to 2-0. Wyoming received the ball first to start the game and drove down the field into Bobcat territory. The defense held firm and forced the Cowboys to attempt a field goal and miss. Texas State responded by driving 74 yards down the field for the first touchdown of the game. with Caleb Twyford smashing through the Cowboy defense for a final 1-yard run into the endzone to put the ‘Cats at 7-0. After trading a couple of possessions, Wyoming was able to tally their first points of the game by a somewhat controversial field goal that appeared to be no good after a replay review to cut the lead 7-3. Jensen responded with a 50-yard touchdown pass at 11:15 in the second quarter to redshirt freshman Jah’Marae Sheread, extending the lead to 14-3 for the Bobcats for Sheread’s first touchdown of the season. Forcing the Cowboys to punt again, the Bobcats looked like they were going to extend the lead, but a turning point occurred when Jensen threw a crippling interception. Wyoming responded by driving 46 yards for the touchdown to make the game 14-10. The Bobcats made a promising drive after the touchdown, but a fumble by Texas State gave the Cowboys another shot to take the lead. However, the Bobcats forced Wyoming to punt, ending the threat of scoring. Texas State took the lead into halftime 14-10. After the Bobcats were forced to punt on their first drive of the second half,
Wyoming was able to drive 42 yards down the field and kicked a 37-yard field goal to cut the lead 14-13. Texas State again looked to have another promising drive, but a backbreaking interception turned into a 72yard touchdown and proved a death knell to the team, giving the Cowboys their first lead of the game 20-14. Wyoming then went on a brutalizing drive, staying in control for nine minutes and twelve seconds as the ‘Cats struggled to hold them back. The Cowboys kicked a 19-yard field goal to extend the lead 23-14. Texas State was unable to score again after that and maintained the loss of 2314. Head coach Jake Spavital said that the crucial interceptions and turnovers caused the loss in his first home game. “It goes down to what we are talking about- playing smart, efficient football,” head coach Jake Spavital said. “You can’t turn the ball over three times, especially throwing a pick-six, and especially against a team that capitalizes on mistakes.” The team hasn’t given up yet, and Spavital believes the team’s passion and desire for change will produce better results later on. “We still have to keep fighting,” Spavital said. “We are going to line back up tomorrow and we are going to coach them up and keeping correcting them because I believe this team can do something special. We are going to keep fighting, scratching and clawing until we get this thing figured out.” Gresch Jensen threw for 33-54 on 394 yards passing and one touchdown. Jensen’s 394 yards passing is the most by a Texas State quarterback since Tyler Jones threw for 475 yards passing against Incarnate Word back in 2016. Next for the Bobcats is a tough matchup at the Hilltop against SMU on Saturday.
The University Star
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 9
Claire Partain Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Volleyball sweeps against SEC giants in tournament By Claire Partain Sports Editor Texas State volleyball showed out as underdogs this weekend, toppling SEC favorites Georgia 3-0 in their first sweep of the season to conclude the Long Beach Mizuno Classic Tournament on Saturday. The 'Cats left the beach with a 2-1 record, their best performance of the season and a crucial win over the tournament's hosts, Long Beach State. Texas State pulled off the upset against the Georgia Bulldogs by performing season-bests in the front row and finally gelling together offensively and defensively. “I can’t say enough about how pleased I am about this team and the confidence and belief they have in themselves,” head coach Karen Chisum said. “We were very very effective. It’s a big win for Texas State and the Sun Belt Conference over an SEC school.” The team came in hot, racking up a seven-point lead at one point in the first set before just squeezing past the Bulldogs with a tight 26-24 win. The 'Cats then got in their groove with two aces and five consecutive points early in the second set to finish out with a more comfortable 25-19 victory. Texas State finished the Bulldogs off with another 25-19 definitive win, making two four-point runs within the set and ending the game with a kill from junior Tyeranee Scott. A key asset for the 'Cats was their rock-solid front row defenses. The team wouldn't budge, keeping the
Bulldogs from pushing past the net with a whopping season-best 14 blocks to Georgia's two. The Bobcats' hitting performance was also night and day from their last home performance, with the team racking in a season-high .271 hitting percentage. Senior Cheyenne Huskey paced the team on three fronts, pulling off a double-double with 11 kills, 10 digs and three aces. Jillian Slaughter led the blocking front with seven blocks, with sophomore Janell Fitzgerald just behind with six blocks and double-figure 10 kills. Sophomore Emily DeWalt proved to be the team's most versatile tool, going across the board with 29 assists, seven digs, four blocks, two kills and one ace. Senior libero Micah Dinwiddie held the back row down, tying for a matchbest 10 digs. Part of the team’s success comes from the consistency of each player, even those on the bench, Chisum said. “I think our bench is getting stronger and stronger because they’re getting more experience,” Chisum said. “Two or three kids that haven’t been playing a lot got an opportunity and they did a really nice job. I feel a whole lot better about our first 12 rather than six or seven and that’s great for a coach to feel that way.” The win came directly after a tight battle against the big-name UCLA Bruins on Friday. The 'Cats lost in three despite nearly bringing the Bruins down in the first and last set (24-26, 18-25, 23-25). Texas State once again paced both teams in blocks with eight to UCLA's six and just topped the Bruins in assists (40-
39). Despite these stats, the team was below the Bruins in other fronts, going just under a .200 hitting percentage to the Bruin's .303 and falling short in digs and aces. Both teams matched with 41 kills. Junior Brooke Johnson led the defensive fight with nine digs while also recording one ace, while Scott brought in three blocks to keep the Bruins at bay. Scott also clocked in the highest hitting percentage of the game at .455 with five kills and zero errors, while Fitzgerald came back to the team with a vengeance with a team-pacing 12 kills. "I think what beat us with UCLA, and we played them pretty tight, was losing the serving and passing game," Chisum said. "We served and passed pretty well against Georgia, and when we pass well it puts you right into your offense." The team started the tournament by beating the tournament hosts themselves, Long Beach State, in a comeback 3-2 victory on Friday (25-17, 18-25, 19-25, 25-20, 17-15). The win sliced through the team’s three-match losing streak, with the Bobcats topping LBSU in digs and aces. Texas State was still coming out of an offensive slump but managed a .215 hitting percentage to LBSU’s .244. Huskey brought in her first doubledouble of the season and first of two throughout the tournament with 15 kills and 16 digs as well as four aces, some of which were crucial for the win Sophomore setter Emily DeWalt paced both teams with a double-double of her own, logging in 47 assists and 10 digs. “We all really wanted a win after
our past few games, and everyone was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen,” freshman outside hitter Courtney Heiser said. “The energy was great and our defense really stepped up, so we were able to get our offense back.” Dinwiddie had her best game defensively of the season with 19 digs. Scott brought in a team-high two blocks, and both Scott and sophomore outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford had season highs with 11 kills. The tournament marked the first time outside hitter Fitzgerald returned to the team after a minor back injury left her on the bench this season. Fitzgerald was a key factor in revamping the team’s offense, hitting two consecutive matches with double-figure kills and making eight blocks throughout the weekend. Other key players Huskey and DeWalt, who were named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Setter of the Year respectively, added to their belts by making the Mizuno Classic AllTournament team. “I could’ve named four or five kids that could’ve made All-Tournament,” Chisum said. “If I was choosing, it would’ve been a hard decision, but I’m telling you those two were very deserving. They had a great weekend.” After a day of rest from the weekend in Cali, the team will gear up for its next road trip at the Texas A&M Invitational Thursday through Saturday. First up for the team is once again the tournament hosts, with the Bobcats playing A&M on Thursday for the first time since a loss against the Aggies in 2012.
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