Shockers swept by No. 3 Texas, currently ride three-match losing streak


Khanh Nguyen

Wichita State freshman Sina Uluave digs the ball during the game against Texas on September 14, 2019 at Koch Arena.

Wichita State was swept by No. 3 Texas in three sets on Saturday and finished with a record of 0-3 in the Shocker Volleyball Classic.

As a whole, the Shockers won just one set all tournament, which came during the first set against No. 13 BYU on Thursday.

Against Texas, the Shockers were able to keep the game close in the first ten points of the first set, but a 7-1 run by the Longhorns allowed the team to pull away to a 25-13 set victory.

The second set was dominated by Texas as they quickly opened up a double-digit lead and finished the set on a 7-0 run as they defeated WSU by a score of 25-9. WSU lost the third set 25-15.

“We needed to walk out of here feeling like we got better,” Head Coach Chris Lamb said after the loss. “If you lose, so be it, but the real loss would be not learning something.”

As a team, the Shockers hit .026 for the match compared to the Longhorns’ .426. WSU was led by freshman Sina Uluave offensively as she tallied six kills and hit .278 for the contest. Redshirt sophomore Megan Taflinger added five kills and redshirt freshman Chinelo Ogogor also added in three kills of her own. 

For the Longhorns, Logan Eggleston tallied a game-high 14 kills and hit .478. Micaya White, added 13 kills and hit .565 for Texas as well.

After the game, Chris Lamb showed some frustration with the inconsistency in both the setting and libero positions. Following the injury to redshirt junior Giorgia Civita last spring, the Shockers have been unable to find a consistent replacement. In the setting department, junior McKayla Wuensch was advertised to be the go-to setter, but has been unable to get a grip on the position.

“The coaches are desperately seeking consistency in the lineup. We’ve been all over the map with being hot and not being hot. The setting carousel is getting really frustrating,” Lamb said. “We’ve yet to find anybody to really own it with three setters getting plenty of chances. That’ll be pretty difficult. The setting and libero position will be under the microscope all year. 

“It won’t be just by us, every coach is going to recognise the limitations and are going to feed off of it so we have to overcome it to get better.”

Out of all the setters, Lamb was most impressed with freshman Kayce Litzau, who added a team-high 10 assists in the contest against the Longhorns.

“She was gritty,” Lamb said of the freshman. “I saw her on the run deliver some balls that were accurate. We’re just hoping to be accurate when we can stand under the ball and I saw her make some accurate sets in some crazy situations.”

Although at times Lamb has been pleased with the defense of his liberos, he views one major weakness with the position for the past two seasons.

“I’ve been calling our group a bunch of pretenders when it comes to pursuit since last year,” Lamb said. “2018 was the last time I saw great defensive effort in our program. I need to see more urgency to defend. Our liberos are needing to give more.

“I’ve been logging each match whether we won the setting and libero battle and our record isn’t good.”

Next up, the Shockers will travel to Omaha, Nebraska where they are set to play No. 17 Creighton and Wyoming in the Creighton Classic. Last season, the Shockers went 0-2 at the tournament.