Uluave, Shockers excited for Creighton Classic, matchup with No. 1 Cornhuskers


Khanh Nguyen

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

The Wichita State volleyball team didn’t have the performances they wanted during last weekend’s Shocker Volleyball Classic. The team went 0-3, hit below .200, and recorded 50 hitting errors, but the team isn’t dwelling on those matches.

Freshman outside hitter Sina Uluave, who was a member of the Shocker Classic all-tournament team, is taking the Shockers’ home tournament as a stepping stone moving forward.

“They [the teams] exposed all of our weaknesses,” Uluave said. “We know that last weekend should be our lowest point of the season, and we just have to learn from that and keep moving upwards.”

One thing the team is focusing on this weekend in preparation is working on their scramble balls, or balls that aren’t controlled after the initial hit. During the home tournament, WSU struggled with their serve receive and recovery on those loose balls.

“It’s something we struggled with this weekend,” Uluave said. “We are working on our scramble balls because we need to learn how to fix these issues on the fly. We need to learn how this system works.”

Another piece that Uluave took out of last weekend was what Texas’ and BYU’s “high level of volleyball looked like.”

However, this weekend brings new challenges for Uluave and the Shockers. So far this season, the team has already faced two top-5 teams, and three total top-25 teams: No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Penn State, and No. 12 BYU. This weekend in the Cornhusker state, WSU will have to face two more ranked opponents: No. 1 Nebraska and No. 15 Creighton. But the Shockers aren’t shying away. According to Uluave, the team is ready.

Uluave said that the team is ready to take on the challenge of playing two more ranked opponents and that this experience will help the team down the road.

“We are ready for the challenge,” Uluave said. “Even when things don’t go our way against these teams, they are still learning experiences that will help us out in the long run.

“We are ready. We are ready to go in there for these matchups and see what we can do.”

As for taking on the No. 1 team in the country, Uluave said that the whole team is excited.

“I know we are ready to try and take them [Nebraska] on,” Uluave said. “It’s not often that teams like us can go up against the number one team in the nation, and with having all of this experience against BYU, Texas, and now seeing the number one team, I think there’s just a lot of anticipation going on in our locker room.”

The Shockers kick off the Creighton Classic on Thursday with a matchup against the Bluejays in Omaha at 6:30 p.m. The team is back in action on Friday with a match against Wyoming, and then travel to Lincoln for the matchup against the No. 1 Cornhuskers.

Overall, the Shockers are 24-40 all-time against this weekend’s opponents, including being 1-13 against the Cornhuskers.