Teammates translate close bond onto the court


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Sophomore Natalie Foster waits for the serve during the game against Kent State University on Sept 10, 2022 at Horejsi Family Volleyball Center.

Part of Shocker volleyball’s success this season comes from teammates and best friends junior Sophia Rohling and sophomore Natalie Foster.

Wichita State volleyball is off to a 3-2 start this season after defeating teams like Iowa State and Creighton in their opening season tournaments.

Rohling has a team high 79 combined skills on a .331 hitting percentage. Foster has 20.0 so far.

Both Foster and Rohling were both named to the Rumble in the Rockies All-Tournament Team. On Aug. 28 Rohling was named American Athletic Conference Offensive player of the week.

On Labor Day, Foster earned American Athletic Conference Defensive player of the week.

Rohling and Foster said their friendship on the court has translated to how they have played together on the court.

“Being out there with people you know you can trust and that are there for you, who support you is pretty awesome,” Foster said.

Foster said it took about a year for her and Rohling to become close friends.

Rohling said she was nervous to ask Foster to hang out but decided to ask her to lunch after practice.

Rohling is the starting opposite hitter for the Shockers and Foster is a starting middle blocker. Both positions are crucial to each other. At Foster’s position, she must be able to move side to side to close blocks for the opposite hitter and outside hitter.

They both said that being able to play with people you are close to like they are helps the team dynamic.

“It’s pretty fun,” Foster said. “I mean I’m pretty good friends with a lot of people on the team and just being out there with people you know you can trust is, and are there for you and can support you is pretty awesome.”

Rohling agreed.

“It’s good to be around people who have confidence in you,” Rohling said “In your abilities. [They] are able to keep you going, even when you’re struggling….[they are] there for your highs and your lows.”

One of Rohling’s “lows” as a college athlete was last season during her sophomore year. After being named First Team All-Conference in the American during the spring season as a sophomore — she felt added pressure to have to measure up to expectations of being phenomenal again in the fall.

Rohling said that one of the people that helped her get through that tough time was Foster.

“I talked to Natalie because she’s my best friend,” Rohling said.