Trio racks up double-digit stats, volleyball sweeps first round

Grant Cohen

SAN ANTONIO — Wichita State volleyball has relied heavily on their offense this season — posting a .293 average through their nonconference schedule. In the Shocker’s first five wins, they have hit a .344 average.

Three Shockers each scored 12 kills as WSU swept the first round of a weekend tournament defeating Texas Tech 3-0 at the University of Texas San Antonio’s Convocation Center Friday morning.

“(Being versatile) spreads their block out, so everyone gets more one-on-one,” junior middle blocker Abbie Lehman said. “We have to pay attention to our pins, and when I keep centered it works out well.”

Texas Tech started the first set leading 10-7, before WSU went on a 3-0 scoring run to cut the Red Raider lead 12-11. A kill from sophomore outside hitter Tabitha Brown tied the game at 16 all, and a kill from Lehman gave the Shockers an 18-17 lead.

Brown made it set point with a kill and service ace, with junior outside hitter Mikaela Raudsepp finishing the Red Raiders off in set one 25-21.

Lehman tied set two at 11 with two consecutive kills and a Brown block pushed the Shockers in front 13-11. Kills from Brown and junior setter Emily Hiebert extended the Shocker’s lead 22-19. Sophomore setter Regan Peare and senior outside hitter Jody Larson capped off set two with one kill each, giving the Shockers a 25-22 set victory.

“We took some good swings all over,” Lehman said. “We needed to get our digs up. We were there, but we weren’t able to scoop them up.”

The Red Raiders came out fired up in set three, largely credited to Texas Tech coach Tony Graystone’s efforts of chewing out the referee that resulted in a yellow card. Texas Tech cut the deficit 16-15 early in set three, until a block from Larson gave WSU a 19-16 lead. Kills from Peare and Larson allowed the Shockers to claim the sweep, winning 25-20 in the third set.

Brown, Larson and Lehman scored off of 12 kills each, with Larson coming up with a double double with 14 digs. Hiebert had her sixth double double of the season Friday morning, coming up with 39 assists and 10 digs. Freshman libero Giorgia Civita led the Shockers defensively with 19 digs while Lehman blocked five attacks. 

WSU (6-3) will play Texas State at 3 p.m. Friday.

“This a tournament where we need all three wins from the schedule,” Lehman said. “Our goal is to come in here to get sweeps and get out.”