‘That’s rally scoring volleyball for ya:’ Volleyball powers past Cincinnati


Brianna Cook / The Sunflower

The volleyball team celebrates their three point lead after losing the second set against Cincinnati on Nov. 21.

With two more games left in the regular season, the volleyball team is now in fourth place in the American Athletic Conference standings. 

The Shockers beat Cincinnati 3-1 (25-16), (19-25), (25-18), (25-21) on Nov. 20. After losing the second set, they turned it around in the third set offensively and defensively. 

The Shockers starters in the front row each recorded double digit kills. Redshirt junior Brylee Kelly recorded 19 kills, sophomore middle blocker Natalie Foster had 17 and junior opposite hitter Sophia Rohling had 13. 

“It’s amazing how our three point scorers played and yet it still was a tight match,” Lamb said. “That’s rally scoring volleyball for ya.” 

Defensively, head coach Chris Lamb came up with a strategy to help open up the attack for Kelly. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Morgan Stout got the start on Sunday afternoon. However, Lamb brought in sophomore middle blocker Lauren McMahon to block in the front of the net. 

“We were just like maybe something in front which is McMahon’s strength could help soften that up so we were hoping that she could get up in transition,” Lamb said. “ She got up a couple of times and then I was hoping for a few more side outs but then Brylee got hot. But my point is McMahon was running both routes and that alone could help Brylee so that was great.” 

Junior setter Kayce Litzau had 50 assists against Cincinnati. Lamb said Litzau has been spending time in practice to help other positions and non-starters have more of an opportunity to score. 

“With her getting better with the middles, and spending a lot more time with the middles not named Natalie Foster we are just trying to find things for them to put on the scoreboard so Kayce’s finding that a little bit,” Lamb said. 

Overall, Kelly said the team’s performance was solid due to more effort in practice over the past week. 

“Sometimes we get lackadaisical  when we do stuff and because we were so competitive energy was brought on both sides [players and coaches],” Kelly said. 

Up next, the Shockers have two more conference matches on the road. They’ll play at SMU on Nov. 23 at noon and then at Memphis on Nov. 25 at 1 p.m.. The match at SMU will be broadcast on ESPNU. 

The first round of the NCAA Tournament will start on Dec. 1. The selection committee will seed the top 32 teams on a national level across eight seed lines. The committee will decide who else makes it into the tournament during the selection show on Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. eastern time on ESPNU.