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Women’s preview: Southland Conference

Talk of postseason is a sore subject for Texas State. Head coach Mike Akers and his team know all too well what it feels like to wait for the phone call that never comes.

“Last year we were a bubble team and we didn’t win conference, and then we had to sit and wait for our names to be called,” Akers explained.

Bubble-team status for the Bobcats last year mostly was a product of struggling in the fall. Texas State had mediocre team finishes before opening its spring with back-to-back wins. Despite the postseason let-down, the team regrouped at the beginning of this season to finish fourth at the Golfweek Program Challenge (giving up the lead in the final nine holes) before winning the Missouri-hosted Johnnie Imes Invitational.

“To get it done in Missouri, that was really uplifting and helped us to have a good fall,” Akers said of a squad that is six players deep.

The new strategy for Texas State this year is to play well before the Southland showdown, so that a trip to regionals doesn’t hinge on the automatic qualifying spot out of the conference. That’s where something called the Interstate 35 rivalry comes into play – it’s a friendly grudge match between Texas State and Texas San Antonio, the top two schools in the conference.

UTSA won last year, but Texas State will host the conference championship this year, which is its last season in the Southland before moving to the Western Athletic Conference next year.

“We’re really excited, we want to go out in style and host a great championship and hopefully we win,” Akers said.

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Top of the class: Texas State

Best player in the fall: Fabiola Arriaga, Texas San Antonio

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Past champions

2007: Sam Houston State

2008: Texas State

2009: TX A&M-Corpus Christi

2010: Texas State

2011: UTSA

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Conference capsules

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Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

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