Taflinger, Shockers grateful for upcoming homestand


Khánh Nguyễn

Wichita State redshirt sophomore Megan Taflinger celebrates with teammates after scoring against KU on August 17 at Koch Arena.

The Wichita State volleyball team has already knocked out a chunk of their season. They are 16 games in, and according to redshirt sophomore Megan Taflinger, their bodies have been taking a beating.

It wasn’t an easy start to the season for the Shockers. They played five top-25 ranked opponents, including three teams that have broken the top five nationally. On top of their heavy-hitting schedule, WSU has also only been inside Charles Koch Arena for four of their matches so far this season.

During those four home matches, the Shockers are 0-4.

“Traveling is sometimes the most physical thing that we are doing,” Taflinger said. “We know how to play volleyball — I mean, we’ve been doing it for years — but the traveling part can get really long and tedious.”

Taflinger and the Shockers finally get the traveling break they’ve been needing with a four-game, two week homestand that runs until Oct. 20. They also play opponents that Head Coach Chris Lamb called “beatable” at the end of practice on Tuesday.

“I think it will be good for us to be at home for four games,” Taflinger said. “It’ll be good for us to have a home crowd too.”

One item that Lamb has his team working on this week heading into Friday’s matchup with Houston is getting pin hitters to hit around just one block. The Cougars use a different strategy when it comes to defensive scheme. Instead of having two blockers converge to attempt a block, they keep their front players steady to take on opposing hitters one-on-one.

“We are working on pin hitters hitting around one block. We also want our middles to hit in transition,” Taflinger said. “When we played SMU, they did really well, and I think our coaches are really looking for that now.”

Taflinger said she’s hopeful for good fan turnout during the team’s upcoming matches. She said she understands it’s “hard” for fans to support a team that hasn’t been living up to expectations.

“I hope it’s a good crowd — I hope we get a good fan base to come out” Taflinger said. “I know that we usually do, but it’s hard to want to come cheer your team on when they aren’t doing as well as you wish they would.

“They’ll help motivate us, and hopefully we can pull three, or even four wins out of this homestand.”

Taflinger and the Shockers kick off play at 7 p.m. Friday against Houston at Koch Arena. After the match, they’ll have a day off before squaring off against Tulane on Sunday. The Shockers will continue their homestand on Oct. 18 against UCF and Oct. 20 against USF.