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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

No NCAA, no problem: Volleyball reflects on NIVC Championship

Kristy Mace
The Wichita State Volleyball team puts the WSU hand sign into the air to celebrate their win versus Drake University that put them into the Fab Four of the NIVT on December 6.

At the start of the season, Wichita State volleyball redshirt junior Morgan Stout had doubts about her team making it to any sort of postseason, but as the season went on, she started putting the team before herself. 

“I was like, ‘Why am I thinking like that?’” Stout said. “We’re doing this; we are winning.”

Before the regular season ended, Stout said she was upset that the team had not qualified for an NCAA bid; however, head coach Chris Lamb changed the team’s mindset. 

Lamb said he used to wonder which would be better: a run in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) or a one-and-done in the NCAA tournament. Ultimately, he preferred the challenge of making a run. 

“The best part about making the NCAA tournament for most schools (is) just saying you made it, but then you go and you’re done,” Lamb said. “It’s pretty cool if you can make a run.”

In December, the team won the NIVC championship to conclude its season.  

Stout said once her mindset changed, she knew that the NIVC tournament would be a cakewalk and winning it would show everyone that they are capable of competing against the best, even qualifying for the NCAA tournament.

She said her maturity allowed others on the team to try and follow in her footsteps. 

“Being able to mature and allow myself to come to my teammates and want the best for everyone, not just my own success was actually something that I think flipped tables even more,” Stout said. 

Lamb said the team got better as the season went on, but it’s hard to maintain the same level of chemistry from the start of the season to the end. He thought the team was good enough to make the run last year but questioned if they were together enough. 

“When people are not playing it gets hard,” Lamb said. “It’s a long season, and (we) made a long run.”

Despite the lack of an NCAA bid or AAC championship, Lamb said this season is one to be remembered.

“I will always remember this as a special season because of that opportunity and the fact that we were super successful,” Lamb said. “I have a handful of special seasons; this gets to be one of them.”

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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