Shocker Volleyball hosts Black and Yellow Scrimmage in Place of Postponed Matches


Kaylee Stout / The Sunflower

Wichita State freshman, Sophie Childs spikes the ball during a scrimmage at Charles Koch Arena on Jan 28.

Shocker Volleyball hosts Black and Yellow Scrimmage in Place of Postponed Matches

Shocker volleyball hosted a Black and Yellow Scrimmage on Thursday, following the postponement of its games against North Texas. The matches scheduled for Jan. 28-29 against North Texas were postponed due to COVID-19 cases and contact tracing, leaving the Shockers without any games to be played.

The program decided to host the scrimmage in hopes of replicating competition and to give the players game-like repetitions in front of Shocker fans. The capacity for the scrimmage was capped at 2,000 fans and was free admission for fans.

“Tonight (Thursday) would’ve been the home opener against North Texas,” said Lamb. “Once we figured out North Texas couldn’t make the trip and I knew we didn’t have enough practice to secure another match with COVID-19 testing, I thought it was a no-brainer to play either Thursday or Friday.”

The black team lost the first set 25-11, but stormed back to defeat the yellow team in five sets, 3-2. Head Coach Chris Lamb said he was pleased to play in front of Shocker fans in Charles Koch Arena. 

“It was exciting to get back in the arena and play and getting the fans to show up,” Lamb said.

Freshman outside hitter Marriah Buss had 23 kills in the scrimmage. Lamb believes Buss has the potential to make an immense impact in her freshman campaign. 

“We’ve always known that Marriah was a powerful, high motor athlete and scoring would be the easiest thing she would do,” Lamb said. “It’s now about getting her up to the standards of passing, serving and defense.”

Buss, a freshman from Lincoln, Neb., received first team all-state honors for three seasons at Lincoln Lutheran High School and was also named Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year in her junior campaign.

Shocker volleyball kicked off their season on Jan. 22-24 in the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational in Springfield, Mo. Lamb and his team are off to a 3-0 start to their season, with wins over South Dakota (3-0), Oral Roberts (3-0) and a hard-fought five-set victory over Missouri State to cap off the weekend (3-2).

Sophomore outside/opposite hitter Nicole Anderson received American Athletic Conference offensive player-of-the-week honors for her performance in Springfield. Anderson was able to tally up 37 kills and 37 digs through the team’s three games. 

Anderson recorded 13 kills and 11 digs against South Dakota in the season-opener and also recorded her first double-double of her career. Anderson was able to record 14 kills and seven digs against Oral Roberts and ten kills and 19 digs against Missouri State to wrap up the tournament.

Anderson averaged a magnificent 3.36 kills and digs per set in the three games for the Shockers. In the scrimmage on Thursday, Anderson was able to tally 17 kills and 16 digs. 

Lamb said that he has been impressed with Anderson’s play and isn’t surprised that she is playing at a high level to start the season. 

“Ever since I saw Nicole for the first time as a sophomore (in high school), I thought she could be someone that could have a great career here,” said Lamb. “I feel like Nicole can be as good as she wants to be, I think she has all the tools to be a very busy player on a team for four years.”

Lamb has confidence in his team to keep up their good performances heading into conference play. A year removed from a 9-19 season, the Shocker volleyball program looks to be trending in the right direction.

The matches against North Texas have been rescheduled to Thursday and Friday, Feb. 4-5. The matches will be played at Charles Koch Arena and will also be live to watch on ESPN+.