‘We played a little cleaner than they did:’ volleyball beats Memphis in five sets


Baswanth Naidu/ The Sunflower

Redshirt junior Brylee Kelly goes up to spike the ball during the match against UCF on Oct. 2 at Charles Koch Arena.

The volleyball team came out of Friday’s matchup with a win. However, they had to make a few adjustments in the lineup. 

The Shockers beat Memphis 3-2 in five sets; (21-25), (28-26), (25-27), (25-19), (15-6). 

“We’re trying to put a lineup together rather than preparing for a team,” Head Coach Chris Lamb said.

Due to injuries, the Shockers played without sophomore opposite hitter Sophia Rohling and sophomore defensive specialist Lara Uyar. As a result, the Shockers relied on freshman right side hitter Emerson Wiflord and sophomore outside hitter Sophie Childs. 

During the fifth set, the Shockers gained a  10-6 lead which caused Memphis to take two timeouts. Wilford led with four kills during the set. She played in the final four sets.

 “I tried to capitalize on it,” Wilford said. “That’s the most comfortable I’ve felt on the court this whole year.” 

She said that she felt confident in the swings she was taking.

“Knowing that she could do it and knowing that her teammates trust her I think really helped too,” redshirt junior outside hitter Brylee Kelly said. 

Kelly said that it is important to feed confidence to the freshman while they are on the  court. 

Lamb said that Wilford stepped up during practice. 

A strong defensive game from Memphis forced the Shockers to find different ways to score.

“We were learning on the fly,” Lamb said.

The Shockers trailed  in the fourth set before turning the match around. 

“We just kind of had to find that internal motivation of  ‘we control the match, our errors, our energy’,”  Kelly said. 

 Kelly had six digs and led the team with 20 kills on a .264 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Natalie Foster has 12 kills and two digs. 

“I saw the court and executed,” Kelly said.

Junior setter Kayce Litzau had a season high,  50 assists and 12 digs. 

“Kayce was setting a great ball,” Kelly said. “I just kept telling her ‘Great set. Great digs. Great sets.’”

The Shockers hold a 7-4 all-time record against the Tigers, including a 6-3 mark during American Athletic Conference play.

 “In the end we played a little cleaner than they did,” Lamb said.

The Shockers will play against Southern Methodist on Sunday at Charles Koch Arena at 1 p.m.