The Teams: Tarleton State (14-13, 5-8 WAC) vs. California Baptist (14-10, 7-6 WAC)
where: Stephenville, Texas
Arena: Wisdom Volleyball Gym
Time: Senior Recognition- 12:51 pm, Game Time- 1 pm CT
Streaming Platform: ESPN+
The Purple and White are scheduled to watch their last home match of the season this Saturday at 1 p.m. against CBU. Before the game, Tarleton State will recognize six seniors starting at 12:51 pm The Texans head into the game after a big win Thursday against No. 2 team in the conference, GCU. The Lancers come into the game after a loss to ACU on Thursday.
• Tarleton State is eighth in the conference going into the game.
• Matt Theurer claimed the first WAC award for the Texans on October 18, as he claimed the WAC Libero title of the week after setting two new season-highs against UTA.
• In the most recent game for the Texans, Tarleton State took on the no. 2 team in the conference, GCU, 3-1 for the first win over the Lopes in program history.
• This is the sixth meeting between the two teams. The overall record between the two teams is 5-1 in favor of California Baptist. The inaugural meeting took place on February 1, 2021, when the Lancers hosted the Texans and took the match in three sets. The next day, the Purple and White fell in four sets. On October 22, 2021, the two teams met again at a neutral venue and the Lancers took yet another match in four sets. During the 2022 season, Tarleton State hosted CBU and won a four-set battle to mark the first win over California Baptist for the Texans. In the last game, CBU hosted the Purple and White and Tarleton State took a set of three against the Lancers.
• Junior Allison Bryant led the team with 312 kills and 336.5 points.
• Sophomore Emma Burke compiled 34 aces for the Texans. He also amassed 113.0 total blocks for the 2023 season.
• Sophomore Megan Hodges leads the team with 640 assists on the season. She also compiled 227 digs and 34 service aces in the 2023 campaign.
• Rajini Fitzmaurice has always been a key player for Tarleton State. Along with an impressive new season high of 22 kills in the match against the Redhawks, Fitzmaurice has now seen 16 matches with 10+ kills for her overall total of 291 kills for in season. The Florida, native, compiled 21 aces for the Texans. Fitzmaurice totaled 199 digs and 332.5 points.
• The Purple and White put up some impressive numbers with 1,347 kills, averaging 12.8 kills per set. The Texans accumulated 1,260 assists, 172 aces, and 1,528 digs averaging 14.3 digs per set. Tarleton State’s defense accounted for 32 solo blocks, 333 block assists, and 198.5 total blocks.
Allison Bryant joined the Purple and White as a transfer from Palm Beach State. The junior outside hitter quickly made her mark as a member of the team as she led the Texans in kills with a total of 312. throughout the game. The Kelseyville, California, native compiled 10-plus kills in 18 of 24 games played for the Texans. He also leads the team with 336.5 points on the season.
In his second season with the Texans, Megan Hodges quickly put up some impressive numbers. Leading the team with 640 assists, Hodges made it clear he was here to compete. The setter is in second place for digs with 227 on the season.
Sophomore Emma Burke is a vital part of the Texan defense. He led the team and ranked second in the WAC with 113.0 blocks. The middle blocker is fourth on the team with 205 kills. The returnee has been a consistent, key player for Tarleton. Burke also contributed 34 aces for the Texans.
Defensive specialist Matt Theurer has seen time in every set for the Texans so far this season. Leading the defense with 431 digs, the junior averaged 4.03 digs per set. The libero has also collected 22 aces in the season.
Another notable returnee is the junior Grayson Schirpik. The outside hitter from Leander, Texas, is third on the team with 218 kills on the season, averaging 2.06 kills per set. Schirpik also ranks fourth on the team in points with 254.5. In the 2022 season, Schirpik is a vital force for the Purple and White.
Rajini Fitzmaurice has provided serious weight for the Texans in recent games. Fitzmaurice ranks second for most kills on the team with 291 and a season-high 22 kills in the match against Seattle U. The outside hitter is tied for third on the team in service aces with 21 on the season. Fitzmaurice is also third for digs with 199 on the season, with a career-high of 17 against UTSA.
WAC preseason poll
Tarleton was picked to finish 9th out of 11 in the Western Athletic Conference. With 28 points, the Texans were picked to follow up with Southern Utah (34). Tarleton State will play against Grand Canyon, who are projected to win the league, on September 30 in Phoenix, Arizona.
On October 18, Matt Theurer claimed the first WAC award of the season for the Texans as he was named Libero of the Week. In the game against UTA, Theurer set new season highs with four aces and four points for the Purple and White. She compiled 39 digs in two matches and averaged 4.17 digs per set. He also contributed eight assists in two games.
Megan Hodges (S) currently leads the team in assists with 640 and assists per set with 5.98 on the season. Hodges has tied for second-most digs with 227 and averages 2.12 digs per set.
In his second season as a Texan, Emma Burke became a powerhouse player for the Purple and White. In the 2022 season, Burke saw time in 28 games but the sophomore surpassed his numbers from last season with 27 games played for Tarleton State so far. The middle blocker amassed 205 kills compared to her total of 126 last season. Burke has 35 collegiate career aces, with 34 coming in the 2023 season. The Texas native tallied 46 digs on the season to top her total of 14 in the 2022 season. Burke is sitting on an impressive 113.0 total blocks on the season so far surpassing his 67.0 total blocks last season. He also compiled 303.0 points on the season compared to his 167.0 total previously.
New school, new numbers
With many newcomers donning the Purple and White for the first time, the newest members of Tarleton Volleyball have seen impressive numbers that will greatly contribute to the team’s success. Rajini Fitzmaurice came to Tarleton State from Liberty University. In her first season for the Texans, the outside hitter quickly became a leading force for Tarleton State compiling 291 kills for the Texans to top her previous career-high season at Liberty of 163 in 2019. Fitzmaurice defeated his previous career high of 18 aces in the 2019 season. The Lake Mary, Florida, native tallied 21 aces in her first season at Tarleton State with four set conference matches remaining for the Purple and White. With 332.5 points contributed to the team, Fitzmaurice beat his previous record in a season with 206.0 points in his first season at Liberty in 2019.