Volleyball picks up first AAC victory of the season


Rachel Rudisill/ The Sunflower

The Shockers celebrate after scoring a point against Southern Florida on Oct. 3 at the Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State head coach Chris Lamb mentioned the “growth of the team” during a five-set loss to Central Florida on Friday. The Shockers continued that growth on Sunday, sweeping the University of South Florida in three sets, clinching their first American Athletic Conference victory of the season.

The key in their first conference win of the season was the ability to block at the net. Freshman outside hitter Sophie Childs came off the bench for the Shockers in a strong performance against South Florida. Childs had 10 total kills on the day and 4.0 blocks. 

Childs said the offensive situation for USF in all three sets determined how much freedom the Shockers had with blocking. 

“I thought that we were doing more of just blocking the ball and we had some ideas of where they might hit but I thought that it gave us a little more leniency as a blocker to choose spots so I thought that went well and I like just blocking the ball… it’s helpful,” Childs said. 

In the second and third sets, the Shockers continued to show how effective their game strategy was by going on a 9-0 lead in set two and a 7-1 lead in set three. 

“A simple blocking plan for an offense that stayed pretty simple,” Head Coach Chris Lamb said. “On another night those girls hit in, it’s a different story.” 

Some more highlights from Sunday afternoon’s matchup include a strong performance from freshman middle blocker Natalie Foster. Foster had five kills in eight attacks, and three blocked assists during South Florida’s strongest rally of the day in the second set. South Florida came back to put themselves ahead in set two with a 22-18 lead before the Shockers came back to win. 

Lamb did not call any timeouts for the Shockers during South Florida’s rally in set two. Sophomore setter Kayce Litzau said this was a smart decision by Lamb. 

“I think we’re really growing up in the sense that we don’t let one point or two points or a run by the other team get to us,” Litzau said. We are confident in ourselves, we know that we can do it and we just focus on the things that we can control and we’re doing a lot better at rebounding and staying aggressive and putting pressure on the other team.” 

The Shockers will play at Memphis University on Friday, Oct. 8.