Shockers win home finale, honor 2 seniors 


Marshall Sunner

Wichita State freshman Arianna Arjomand celebrates a point during the match against Tulsa on Nov. 15 inside Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State won its final home match of the season on Friday, defeating Tulsa in four sets. With the victory, the Shockers improve to 8-19 on the season. 

The win against the Golden Hurricane (15-13) was just the Shockers’ second home victory this season, as WSU finished with a record of 2-9 inside Charles Koch Arena. 

The Shockers dominated the match, faltering only in the third set. In the three set victories, WSU hit .263 in comparison to the Golden Hurricane’s .073. For the game, the Shockers hit .220 as a team while Tulsa hit .089. 

Freshman Sophia Rohling paced WSU offensively, tallying a team-high 11 kills. Rohling’s 11 kills put her just two shy of the career-high 13 she recorded against Temple earlier this season. 

Sina Uluave also added 10 kills while Megan Taflinger and Emma Wright each provided nine of their own. Kara Bown contributed 20 digs, and Kayce Litzau stayed hot, dishing out 25 assists. 

Head Coach Chris Lamb said he was impressed with the way Wright developed her block throughout the game. Tulsa’s outside hitter, Dilara Gedikoglu, likes to attack, and Wright made an adjustment that led to success later in the match. 

“It requires some discipline, and it’s much harder than it looks to create positive touches on that angle,” Lamb said. “It seemed like after Emma (Wright) blew one at the end of the third game, where she really let this girl get behind and get outside of her, in the fourth game, she really made up for it. “

With it being the final home game of the season, the Shockers also had to bid farewell to a pair of seniors. Both Kara Bown and Damadj Johnson were honored and recognized prior to the game for their contributions to the volleyball program. 

Bown, a four-year member of the volleyball program, has tallied a career-high 339 digs this year while helping to fill the void left following Giorgia Civita’s injury.

The senior libero said the melancholy sentiment faded as the game got underway.

“I was really sad before the game. Once everything got started, it felt like a normal game to me,” Bown said. “I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. The game was really fun, and not a lot of sad emotions during the game.”

Johnson, who transferred to WSU from Indiana State, has provided some strong play up the middle this season, contributing 74 kills and 33 blocks.

The former Sycamore said her teammates’ support helped keep the emotions of her final home game from getting to her.

“I feel that during the game, I was really happy, really excited,” Johnson said. “The girls were really happy for us. They were behind us, so I feel the emotions through the game were really happy.”

Lamb said the seniors should be proud of the lasting impact they’ve had on the team.

“We’re glad that these guys have put something together so the seniors can feel better about their help in making the team better,” Lamb said. “Our work this year will always be remembered.”

Next up, the Shockers will finish out the season as they travel to East Carolina on Sunday. WSU has already been eliminated from AAC Tournament play.