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Shockers drop final MVC matchup to Drake Bulldogs

Sophomore+Haru+Inoue+volleys+the+ball+back+to+a+Cornell+player+on+March+11.+Wichita+State+lost+their+match+against+MVC-foe+Drake+on+Saturday+afternoon.
Sophomore Haru Inoue volleys the ball back to a Cornell player on March 11. Wichita State lost their match against MVC-foe Drake on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Haru Inoue volleys the ball back to a Cornell player on March 11. Wichita State lost their match against MVC-foe Drake on Saturday afternoon.

Selena Favela

Selena Favela

Sophomore Haru Inoue volleys the ball back to a Cornell player on March 11. Wichita State lost their match against MVC-foe Drake on Saturday afternoon.

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Wichita State faced the Drake Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Genesis Health Club. The Shockers entered the match tied for second place with Southern Illinois (1-1). The Bulldogs stood alone atop the conference standings (2-0).

Drake claimed the doubles point after two Shocker duos lost.

Jocelyn Devilliers/Eddie Stoica relied on backhanded spins and several spikes to win three games, but fell 3-6 to Bayo Philips/Barny Thorold of Drake.

On court three, Shockers Murkel Dellien/Marius Frosa stayed with Ben Stride/Ben Wood. Dellien/Frosa have been playing well together over their last several matches, but lost to Stride/Wood 4-6.

The third doubles match, between Haru Inoue/Miroslav Herzan and Vinny Gillespie/Tom Hands remained unfinished with the Shockers down 4-5.

“We knew the match was likely going to be a 4-3 type match, so the doubles point is obviously really important and was the difference,” head coach Danny Bryan said. “We had some chances in doubles, but [Drake] played a little better than us.”

The Shockers claimed the first two singles points with wins by Devilliers and Dellien.

Devilliers won both sets against Calum MacGeoch 6-4, 6-1. Dellien cruised to victory against Thorold 6-0, 6-1. These quick wins put the Shockers in the lead 2-1 overall.

Stoica lost both sets, 4-6 and 1-6, to Hands on court five.

No. 92 Inoue faced no. 84 Gillespie on court one for singles. Inoue and Gillespie went back and forth in winning games in the 12 games played, but Gillespie won the first set 7-5 on the tie-break.

Inoue dropped the second set 3-6.

On court two, Frosa and Stride faced off and went to a tie-break in the first set. Frosa pulled out the tie-break 8-6 winning the set 7-6.

Tension was high in the second set between Frosa and Stride after two calls were made by the referee which Stride felt were incorrect. Frosa led the set 5-0 before dropping a game to Stride.

Frosa won his second set 6-1 taking the match point.

With only one court still playing, the teams were tied at three points apiece.

The final match — the only court that went to three sets — was between Herzan and Philips. Philips won the first set 6-3 and Herzan won the second set 6-3.

With all eyes on the court, Philips beat Herzan 6-2 to claim the win for Drake.

“I thought we did a really good job in the singles of putting ourselves in a position to win,” Bryan said. “We knew it was going to be tough to get four points off of them in singles and when we lost three first sets, Miro did a good job of bouncing back in the second and getting us a deciding third set.

“We had a shot, we knew it would be close, they were a little better than us today.”

The Shockers end conference play at 1-2; the Bulldogs moved to 3-0 winning the MVC regular season title — the sixth time in the last seven years.

Next up for the Shockers (12-12) is a double-header on Sunday versus UTSA (6-16) and McPherson (6-3) at the Coleman Tennis Complex at WSU.

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