Shocker volleyball clenches conference title

Players celebrate their sweep against Evansville on Saturday night as they clinch the program’s sixth Missouri Valley Conference championship at Charles Koch Arena.

After falling to the Southern Illinois Salukis 0-3 Friday night at Koch Arena, the Shockers redeemed themselves Saturday against Evansville.

Led by Abbie Lehman with 14 kills and hitting .609 percent, Emily Heibert with 36 assists, and Dani Mostrom with 19 digs, WSU lost to Southern Illinois by scores of 25-23, 25-20 and 25-22.

Trading leads and battling the Salukis back-and-fourth, the Shockers were not on top of their game and couldn’t find a groove.

The match against Evansville was a completely different story, as WSU earned the 3-0 sweep on senior night by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and a whopping 25-4, going out with a bang.

“It was a lot of fun to get out there, not so much about me, but just to be with my team out there,” MaryAshton Floyd said.

Lehman led once again offensively with 11 kills, hitting .643 percent, while Heibert added 34 assists and Mostrom contributed 12 digs.

Wichita State rolled past the Purple Aces from start to finish to secure the sole No. 1 Missouri Valley Conference ranking and the name of MVC Champions, along with the No. 1 seed going into the MVC tournament.

“That was fun for everybody,” head coach Chris Lamb said. “To wind down, having the final game at home, getting the seniors all in, you don’t always get that.”

Picking up the program’s sixth MVC title, Wichita State will travel to Springfield, Missouri, in search of a tournament championship.

After a bye in the quarterfinal, WSU will compete in the first semifinal against the game one winner between UNI and ILS at 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinal winners will face off at 4 p.m. Saturday for the title as well as an automatic berth into the NCAA Volleyball Championship Tournament.

In the regular season, Lehman led the squad in both blocks and kills, Shimen Fayad led in aces, Mostrom in digs and Heibert in assists.

The Shockers finished the season with an overall record of 24-8 and a conference record of 15-3.