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Wichita State volleyball rolls by Southern Illinois

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Sep. 22, 2012, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Sep. 22, 2012, at 10:34 p.m.

Wichita State outside hitter Emily Adney happily explained YOLO and how it helped push her season in the right direction.

YOLO stands for You Only Live Once, and is often used in Twitter conversations as shorthand for going all out with no regrets. For Adney, it summed up Saturday’s 16-kill, 12-dig performance in a sweep (25-20, 25-15, 25-22) of Southern Illinois at Koch Arena.

She struggled at times this season and wasn’t happy with attack decisions that dropped her kill percentage to career lows. She punched it up a bit in Friday’s sweep of Evansville and broke through Saturday with a red-hot attack percentage of .485. She looked like the Adney of old, expertly finding open areas.

“I played OK (Friday) and then today it just clicked,” she said, tossing in a YOLO reference with a big smile.

“I can’t believe you just said that,” setter Chelsey Feekin said.

Coach Chris Lamb said. “I have no idea what they’re talking about.”

The players explained.

“Just go for it, she’s going for it — that’s what she’s talking about,” Feekin said.

Well, it explains so much. Adney, a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, is tough on herself. Saturday, it looked as if she decided to lighten up and stop worrying and it worked.

“She’s been working really hard at getting back to where she was last year, mentally and physically,” Feekin said. “It was really good tonight to feel like I knew I had someone to set tonight who would get a kill.”

Feekin had plenty of those options against SIU (11-3, 2-2 MVC).

The Shockers (9-4, 3-1) stayed in system in all three sets, making things look easy for much of them. The Salukis rarely forced the Shockers into scramble mode and WSU’s passers and Feekin took advantage.

“They passed it perfect,” SIU coach Justin Ingram said. “Because of that they were able to do a whole bunch of things. They were able to isolate hitters. They were able to set the middles to get them going. Chelsey was able to dump the balls when she wanted to.”

Freshman left Ashlyn Driskill, who had a career-high 15 kills in the win over Evansville, added 10. Feekin ran the offense smoothly, finding room for eight kills and keeping the middles involved. The Shockers hit .324 in the first set, .562 in the second and .263 in the final one to finish at a season-high .374

“We felt like if we could pass, we could stay busy,” Lamb said. “We thought if we could pass, we could distribute a lot and move it around, and I think we did that.”

The Shockers stayed in system in all three sets, making things look easy for much of them. The Salukis rarely forced the Shockers into scramble mode and WSU’s passers and Feekin took advantage.

“They passed it perfect,” SIU coach Justin Ingram said. “Because of that they were able to do a whole bunch of things. They were able to isolate hitters. They were able to set the middles to get them going. Chelsey was able to dump the balls when she wanted to.”

WSU rallied from a 6-1 deficit to win the first set with Adney and middle Ashley Andrade both contributing five kills. A kill by Adney broke a 14-all tie and gave the Shockers the lead for good. Kills by Feekin held off two SIU bursts coming out of Shocker timeouts late in the set. The second gave WSU a 24-20 lead and Andrade ended the set with her fifth kill.

Adney kept up the pace early in the second set, scoring three of WSU’s firsst four points. Two kills by Andrade made it 12-6 and forced an SIU timeout. The Shockers outscored SIU 4-2 after the timeout and the Salukis never threatened. Adney registered six kills and an ace. Driskill added five kills. WSU, after hitting .324 in the first set, improved to .545 in the second.

SIU regrouped after intermission and led early in the third set. WSU took an 8-7 lead on a block by Sam Sanders and ran its lead to 11-7. SIU made several runs without getting closer than two points.

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