Volleyball finishes non-conference in San Antonio

Grant Cohen

Wichita State volleyball looks to end their non-conference season with a 3-0 mark in San Antonio on Friday and Saturday, playing Texas Tech, Texas State and University of Texas at San Antonio. 

The Shockers are coming off a 3-0 sweep against Samford, winning against Colorado State and losing to No. 2 Texas before in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

Junior setter Emily Hiebert and senior outside hitter Jody Larson earned all tournament honors last week, with Hiebert having 32 kills and nine digs in the win against Samford. Larson has scored off double digit kills in four straight matches, tying a career high of 19 kills against No. 2 Texas. 

Freshman Giorgia Civita came in at libero led the Shockers with 19 digs against No. 2 Texas and 13 digs against Samford last week. Civita is second on the team in digs, averaging 3.04 digs per set this season. 

WSU starts play on Friday with a matchup against Texas Tech at the UTSA Convocation Center. 

Texas Tech, 9 a.m. Friday

After dropping their first two matches of the season, Texas Tech is on a nine-game winning streak heading into Alamo City. The Red Raiders managed to win three games in Big 12 play last season, but sitting comfortably in fourth place heading into the weekend. 

Texas Tech’s .274 hitting percentage is the main reason the Red Raiders have been rolling through the non conference season. Lauren Douglass leads the Red Raider’s with 3.45 kills per set, hitting .435 in 40 matches. 

Marguerite Grubb sets the Red Raiders for scoring opportunities, averaging 10.60 assists per set and having a .640 set percentage through 11 matches. Defensively, Texas Tech holds their opponents to .175 while averaging 14.82 digs per set as a team. 

Libero Reyn Akiu leads the Red Raiders defensively with 4.93 digs per set, with Grubbs and Katelyn Bryant adding over two digs per set each. The Red Raiders average more than 2.31 blocks per set as a team, with Douglass contributing 1.35 blocks per set individually. 

A victory over a Big 12 opponent would help the Shockers RPI increase, especially with who Texas Tech competes against once conference play starts. 

Texas State, 3 p.m. Friday

The Bobcats look to be the weakest opponent the Shockers will face this weekend, heading into the tournament with a 6-6 overall record. 

Texas State has lost their games off of errors, committing 232 attack errors with 91 service errors so far this season. Their offense hits .223 while their opponents hit .210. 

Jordan Kohl has helped the Bobcats offensively, averaging 3.10 kills per set with a .326 hitting percentage. Freshman Megan Porter has also made contributions on the offensive side of the net, scoring off of double digit kills in the Bobcat’s last two matches. 

One aspect that the Bobcats are successful in is blocking, coming up with 106.5 team blocks compared to their opponent’s 81. Jaliyah Bolden and Madison Daigle both average over one block per set, with Texas State averaging 2.42 blocks per set. 

WSU’s Friday afternoon match looks to be one that will help the Shockers end the day with a positive vibe. 

University of Texas at San Antonio, noon Saturday

UTSA is looking to put another high profile win on their résumé before conference play begins. The Roadrunners have already knocked off Ohio, Oklahoma and SMU this season while two of their three losses came to No. 2 Texas and the University of Miami. 

Sitting at 6-3 overall, the Roadrunners hit .276 as a team with their opponents hitting .211. Dajana Boskovic contributes to quality amount of UTSA’s scoring, averaging 4.70 kills per set and contributing to 5.25 points per set. Marijeta Runjic provides another scoring option for the Roadrunners with her 3.19 kills per set. 

Jessica Waldrip’s sets help score UTSA’s points on offense, with Waldrip averaging 9.83 assists per set. The Roadrunners are spread out on defense, with four players averaging over two digs per set to contribute to the 13 digs per set as a team. 

UTSA comes up with two blocks per set, with Kara Teal averaging one block per set on defense. The Roadrunners hold their opponents to 11.88 kills per set, but get blocked almost two times per set for points. 

The Shockers will have another true road game on Saturday, which will prepare them when conference play opens up at Missouri State on Sept. 23.