ANALYSIS: Where every WSU sport stands going into the 2020-21 school year


Morgan Anderson/The Sunflower

Koch Arena sits empty on Friday.

While students are coming back to campus in a limited capacity this semester, much uncertainty still surrounds sports seasons for the 2020-21 school year.

With rumors that fall sports or college football could be canceled, it’s unclear whether collegiate sports will take place this year and in what capacity. That said, here’s where every Wichita State program stands heading into the school year.


After a disappointing 2019 season, the volleyball program looks to take a big jump this year with an experienced, returning roster. Despite losing three options at the libero position, the Shockers kept most of their remaining starters and could potentially see a breakout season.

The program gained some vital experience for freshmen up and down the roster, especially with outside hitters Sina Uluave and Sophia Rohling, who joined the team late in the season. As the year went on, the rotation started to gain some momentum, which could carry on to the upcoming season.

The program will also bring some leadership in the form of Megan Taflinger and Emma Wright. With these upperclassmen in the fold for the 2020 season, leadership will be less of a concern as it was at times a year ago.

Cross Country and Track and Field

Despite an up-and-down season a year ago, the cross country and track and field programs look to be on the rise as star Winny Koskei enters her final season at WSU.

As for cross country, Koskei and Ben Flowers had outstanding junior campaigns with Flowers earning all-conference and Koskei earning her second consecutive AAC Runner of the Year award. Both runners are set to return for their senior seasons and will play a major role in the upcoming season.

On the track and field side, the outdoor season was canceled but athletes got off to a hot start in the indoor season. Both the men’s and women’s teams were able to record a top-five finish at the conference championships. It will be interesting to see how they are able to rebound after a shortened season.

Men’s Basketball

After it looked like the men’s basketball team was headed back to the NCAA Tournament, the season was canceled. But that wasn’t going to be the only adversity the team faced this offseason.

Only a day after the season was canceled, four WSU players entered the transfer portal. Seven Shockers entered the portal in total, including Morris Udeze — who ultimately opted to return to WSU.

Despite the roster turnover, the Shockers sit in a good position for the upcoming season. The Shockers now have one of the conference’s best backcourts, with Connecticut graduate transfer Alterique Gilbert, sophomore Tyson Etienne and combo-guard Dexter Dennis.

The biggest key will be how newcomers adjust to the program and how quickly they can form chemistry. If the team is able to quickly form some bonds and the incoming recruits can quickly adjust to their roles, the Shockers could return as one of the top teams in the AAC.


After an up-and-down season for both the men’s and women’s golf programs, both teams look to be in a good place heading into this season.

On the women’s team, Michelle Ledermann is back for her senior season and will look to continue her successful streak from last year. Her best finish from a year ago came during the Payne Stewart Memorial, in which she finished in a tie for fourth. If Ledermann can have another consistent season of play, then the program will be in a good place.

In Judd Easterling’s first season at the helm, the men’s program had a lot of positives to take away from their season. One of the main positives came from freshman Joe Bultman, who was able to put together a pair of top-20 finishes while taking part in all six of the team’s events. If the program can continue to have production up and down the roster, they could be set for a big jump in Easterling’s second season.


Despite having their seasons cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the men’s and women’s tennis programs had plenty of positives to take away from last year’s season.

The men’s program finished the season with a record of 12-5 prior to the shutdown. Juniors Stefan Latinovic and Orel Ovil took big leaps a year ago, with both players finishing with seven wins. If the pair can take another big step this season the program could have another successful season.

Despite not having as successful of a season as the men’s team, the women’s tennis program looks prepared for a solid season. The team is slated to have four seniors back for this upcoming season, which pays dividends in the leadership department. Marta Belluco will look to finish off her WSU career on a high note, finishing last season with a 15-8 record in singles matchups.

Women’s Basketball

After a couple of disappointing seasons for the program, the women’s basketball program took some big steps a year ago.

During Keitha Adams’ third season at the helm, the Shockers went 16-15 and were able to pick up their first victory in the conference tournament. The Shockers were finally able to find some stability in the rotation and will return the majority of their roster next season.

Maria McCully will be a major part of the team’s success next year after becoming the team’s go-to scorer in her first year at WSU. After arriving from Wabash Valley, McCully was averaging a team-high 12.6 points per game and was selected for the third-team all-conference. If McCully can have another successful season, the program could make another jump this season.


Before the baseball season came grinding to a halt, the Shocker baseball program was one of the hottest teams in the country. In the first season with Eric Wedge at the helm, the Shockers finished 13-2 with 12 straight victories.

One of the positives that WSU can take from the shortened season is the return of some seniors after NCAA gave them an extra year of eligibility. Preston Snavely, Alex Jackson and Tommy Barnhouse all have expressed interest in returning and will play a big role on the field.

Freshmen Couper Cornblum and Cade Clemons also had early success last year and could be capable of breakout seasons this year. Most of the pitching staff is also returning to the team.


After a season in which the softball program failed to win a single home game, the softball program looks poised for a much better season.

Similar to the baseball program, softball will have some of last year’s seniors returning due to their extra year of eligibility. The current AAC home-run leader Madison Perrigan is set to return, along with Ryleigh Buck and Bailey Lange — all of whom will have a big impact on the team from a leadership standpoint.

After a season with high expectations that led to an 11-16 record, the softball program could be set for a bounceback season and even a return to NCAA Tournament if all goes according to plan.