WSU volleyball tramples Bison to finish opening weekend above .500

Perfect is hardly the word to describe the start of Wichita State’s volleyball season. Resilient might be more suitable. 

The Shockers opened their season over the weekend in Dekalb, Ill., at the NIU Invitational, hosted by Northern Illinois. 

WSU finished the tournament with a 2-1 record, with each game getting progressively easier for the Shockers. 

New Mexico State proved to be the only obstacle WSU couldn’t surpass. The Aggies defeated WSU 3-1 on Friday to open the season. 

Scores were 30-28, 16-25, 20-25 and 24-26. 

The Shockers took the first set from the Aggies only to lose the next three. 

Saturday saw the Shockers face host NIU in the most back-and-forth of the Shockers’ three contests. 

The match saw 33 ties and 15 lead changes in the Shockers’ 3-2 win. 

Scores were 18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22 and 22-20. 

The match also saw three Shockers obtain or match career highs. Senior Jackie Church had a career best 31 digs, junior Chelsey Feekin matched a career best 47 assists which she set against NMST, and junior Sam Sanders finished with a career-high 14 kills. 

The Shockers wrapped up the invitational against North Dakota State on Sunday, defeating the Bison in three sets. 

Scores were 25-18, 25-16 and 25-23.

WSU never trailed during the match. 

Junior Elizabeth Field and Church earned their first honors of the season, each being named to the all-tournament team. 

New Mexico State won all three of its games to win the invitational. 

The Shockers will continue its season with the Shocker Volleyball Classic, which gets underway on Thursday in Wichita. 

WSU will host three high-profile opponents in Colorado State, BYU and Tennessee. Both Colorado State and Tennessee entered the season ranked in the top-25 nationally, while both BYU and WSU were receiving votes. 

Thursday’s match against Colorado State begins at 7 p.m.