Shocker volleyball to open season at Wahine Invitational

Aloha, volleyball fans.

Early Tuesday morning, the Shockers boarded a plane to Honolulu, Hawaii, in anticipation for the season-opening tournament at the Rainbow Whaine Invitational.

Recently voted No. 1 in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll, with six returning starters and a 2014 overall record of 20-10, the Wichita State volleyball team approaches three competitive matches.

This weekend the Shockers face off against Oregon State (9:30 p.m. Aug. 28), No. 18 Hawaii (11:59 p.m. Aug. 29) and Idaho (7:30 p.m. Aug. 30).

Oregon State, WSU’s first opponent of the 2015-16 season, finished 21-13 last year and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Beavers return one starter and eight letterwinners.

“We are playing three very good teams,” said head coach Chris Lamb, who is returning for his 16th season. “We’ve got to play well. We will gain a lot of information about what we are good at and what we need to work on, because these teams will expose that.”

With a new squad and a new season, players to watch are All-American Abbie Lehman, a sophomore outside hitter (OH), Shimen Fayad, redshirt-freshman OH, Jodi Larson, sophomore OH, and Dani Mostrom, junior libero.

“Because of a lot of depth, our biggest obstacle starting the season has been trying to figure out our best lineup and gain some consistency,” Lamb said. “Some people say that is a good problem to have, but it is still something that we have to work through and figure out.”

This weekend will be Wichita State’s fourth trip to the Hawaiian Islands. In previous years, WSU finished the Wahine Invitational 1-2 (2003), 2-1 (2007) and 1-2 (2011). The Shockers are historically 18-19-2 in season openers, while 9-6 in season openers under the leadership of Lamb.

“Our main goal going into this tournament is to stay one-minded as a group and focus on all being engaged, with no distractions,” Lamb said. “There is no place better to test that than Hawaii.”

Looking ahead, Wichita State will play their home-opener at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 10 against South Dakota State at the Shocker Volleyball Classic.

Games will be webcasted live at and video streamed at