‘This team accomplished a lot:’ Volleyball ends season at postseason tournament


Rachel Rudisill / The Sunflower

Kayce Litzau and Morgan Stout high five after they earn a point against Grand Canyon University on Dec. 4.

The volleyball team made it out of their conference with only one loss this month. This put them in a position to earn a fourth place finish in the American Athletic Conference and earn a nomination for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship Tournament. 

The Shockers NIVC tournament berth was their first postseason tournament nomination since 2018. However, it was cut short on Dec. 4 in the first round of the tournament to Grand Canyon University. The Antelopes beat the Shockers 3-1 (15-25), (27-25), (24-26), (23-25).

Head coach Chris Lamb said his team had several distractions leading up to their match.  Some of those distractions included a player leaving the team and illnesses.

“I’m sad that we weren’t able to prepare normally,” Lamb said.

Despite the distractions this week, Lamb said the match against the Antelopes could have gone either way. Several of the officials point calls were challenged by Lamb. 

“It really feels like a 50-50 proposition [which team the official decides to give a point to] like that,” Lamb said. “If the ball bounces the other way, you could get a couple of calls.” 

The American Athletic Conference is dominated by upperclassmen — juniors, seniors and graduate students. With the NCAA transfer portal being widely popular in college athletics, Lamb said his team is one of the only teams in the NCAA without any transfers or grad transfers on its roster.

“We had some great performances in the conference this year and it was old and it might be old again because everybody just keeps finding these grad transfers, but I’m just saying, this team accomplished a lot from August to now,” Lamb said.

Junior libero Lily Liekweg played in her final match as a Shocker against Grand Canyon. The Janesville, Iowa, native finished her career with 328 digs and 3.64 digs per set.

Each player from Wichita State on the all conference team this season, will be back next fall. This includes redshirt junior Brylee Kelly, who was a first team all conference selection. Kelly will play her final season as a Shocker next season.