Shockers fall in exhibition match against Kansas


Easton Thompson

Wichita State sophomore Megan Taflinger goes up for a kill during Saturday’s exhibition match against Kansas inside Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State took the floor for the first time this season on Saturday with a home exhibition against Kansas. The Shockers, who feature 11 newcomers, battled with the slightly more experienced Jayhawks, but lost the match 3-2.

The first set saw a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, and also featured multiple newcomers getting comfortable inside Charles Koch Arena. Right off the bat, freshman Sina Uluave made her impression with the team by sacrificing her body on the floor. For the Jayhawks, the first set saw five service errors which proved to be detrimental. The Shockers took the set 25-23.

Chris Lamb’s team came out fighting in the second set too. After being down 7-3 early, a barrage of points from Uluave, Megan Taflinger, Emma Wright, and Nicole Anderson kept the game close, but Kansas took the set 28-26.

Lamb managed to get more freshman into the match in the third set, all while continuing successful play. Starting libero Kara Bown moved into a regular back row position while freshman Arianna Arjomand became the team’s defensive specialist. Skylar Goering and Lily Liekweg also saw playing time in the third set and beyond.

WSU could do no wrong in the third, running away with a 25-11 win.

The fourth set saw even more substitutions for WSU, and the team couldn’t recover. Brylee Kelly emerged in the fourth, showing off her arm for four kills. She also recorded two digs. However, more errors occurred, both at the net and from services, and the Jayhawks ultimately stole the set 25-15.

The pivotal fifth set saw Wichita State go back to some of its core group. Lamb’s team couldn’t gain much traction after losing the previous set and lost the final set 15-6.

The final outcome won’t go towards either team’s overall record.

Taflinger led the Shockers with eight kills on the night, but didn’t see action after the third set. Transfer McKayla Wuensch led the team with 19 assists and Wright and Damadj Johnson combined for 7.5 blocks for the match. For WSU, 10 players recorded a kill.