Kailin Newsome makes an early season impact as a transfer for WSU


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Freshmen Kailin Newsome celebrates during the game against Kent State University on Sep 10 at Horejsi Family Volleyball Center.

The world of collegiate volleyball isn’t new to Kailin Newsome. Newsome said she started playing the sport and ultimately followed her sister, Jaden, to play college volleyball.

“She’s probably my biggest role model,” Newsome said. “So, she’s had a huge impact, I would say.”

Newsome started out her collegiate volleyball journey with Southeastern Louisiana, finishing last season with 280 kills, including a career-high 26 kills against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Newsome also tallied 11 double-doubles during the 2021 season. 

Newsome then received some accolades based on her performance, including Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and Southland All-Conference First Team.

“It was really big for me,” Newsome said. “I expected to have a good season but obviously didn’t expect to get all the accolades that I got. So, that was really good.”

In the following offseason, Newsome decided it was time for some change and entered her name in the transfer portal. 

“I just really wanted something bigger,” Newsome said. “I just wanted to be in a bigger conference, bigger school.”

While Newsome was looking for her next school she was joined by Jaden, who was also looking for her next school after receiving another year of eligibility. 

“A lot of schools tried recruiting us both to get us both at their school so that was kind of a cool thing,” Newsome said. “But we ended up at different places again, so that’s fine.”

Newsome said it is helpful to have her sister to got through, especially when they were both looking to transfer.

“It’s very helpful because she’s experienced most of the things that I’m starting to go through being younger than she is,” Newsome said. “So, it’s really helpful just to have a person to be able to give me advice like that.”

Ultimately, Newsome decided to commit to WSU and Jaden committed to the University of Missouri for her final season. Newsome said she decided to become a Shocker because of the early relationship she built with head coach Chris Lamb and the rest of the Shocker volleyball program.

“I loved the coaches right off the bat,” Newsome said. “They were very honest and upfront about everything. Whenever I came up for a visit, I met all the girls and I fell in love with campus.”

Wichita State volleyball head coach Chris Lamb said that after watching some film from last season, they felt she could have an impact on the program.

“We started watching all the tape and she’s the only one they’re setting, everybody’s preparing for her and she just had to work to find points,” Lamb said. “We also think we can make her better but we thought she was a pretty good blend of a passer and maybe could score just enough and I think we were right.”

Newsome has found early success with the Shockers through the team’s first two tournaments. During the A-State Invitational, Newsome was named the all-tournament team after tallying 26 kills and 20 digs to start off the season. 

This past weekend at the Kansas Invitational, Newsome compiled a pair of double-doubles, including a season-high 18 kills against Delaware.

“I think that this year my teammates and I kind of hit it off very early,” Newsome said. “We’re all best friends and it’s really good.”

Lamb said that Newsome’s ability to keep the defense on their toes makes her hard to defend.

“The way she gets herself out of trouble makes people really defend her,” Lamb said. “She’ll hit under, she’ll tool, she’ll hit line, she makes you have to work to defend her. She really does move it around the court and she’s fearless, she’ll take big swings in tough situations.”

Newsome and the Shockers will be back in action starting on Friday with their home-opener against South Dakota at 7 p.m.