Shocker volleyball shows its potential after solid weekend against nationally-ranked competition

Editor-in-Chief

Only a fine line separates Wichita State (3-3) from being 5-1 and nationally ranked. 

That line is a pair of five-set losses to BYU and Tennessee at the Shocker Volleyball Classic. 

The Shockers hosted three high-profile teams over the weekend, going 1-2 in those matches to get their season record to .500. 

“Playing good teams expose (your weaknesses) and make you know exactly what you need to get better at,” WSU volleyball coach Chris Lamb said. “All things considered, I’m happy and I know we still have more left in us.”

The Shockers started the weekend on a high note with a 3-1 upset of No. 24 Colorado State on Thursday. 

Scores were 25-12, 20-25, 25-20 and 25-19. 

After cruising in the first set, WSU struggled in the second set and found a despondent team in the locker room. A heart-to-heart talk between teammates led to an impressive third-set victory and eventual match win for the Shockers. 

“It was definitely a team-building moment for us to be able to click finally and hit that stride,” said junior Ashley Andrade. 

The other two games were equally as impressive for the Shockers, despite the end results being a pair of losses for WSU. 

BYU, which entered the weekend receiving votes in the latest polls, controlled much of the match against WSU. After losing the first set, the Shockers rallied to take the second and fourth sets, only to fall short in the fifth. 

Scores were 15-25, 26-24, 17-25, 26-24 and 16-18. 

Sunday’s match against No. 14 Tennessee finished in similarly dramatic fashion. 

The Shockers trailed two sets to none before storming back to force a fifth set. 

UT raced out to a 5-2 lead in the fifth set and never allowed WSU to make a serious run to get back in it. 

Scores were 19-25, 26-28, 25-22, 26-24 and 9-15.

Despite the 1-2 record, the Shockers came away with a feeling of accomplishment, having proven that they can compete with some of the best teams in the nation. 

The fact that they came away with any wins could prove to have a major impact on the team’s NCAA Tournament hopes at the end of the season. 

“We needed a win this weekend in this tournament and we got it,” Lamb said. “I’m really happy with my squad’s performance.”