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Shocker volleyball reclaims Valley lead

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at 9:17 p.m.

Illinois State at

WSU volleyball

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Koch Arena

Records: ISU 16-9, 9-4 MVC; WSU 22-6, 11-3

Radio: KEYN, 103.7-FM

In, again and again. Wichita State is back in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference volleyball standings.

WSU swept Indiana State 25-10, 25-15, 25-15 on Friday at Koch Arena with an offensive performance that ranks as one of the program’s best. The Shockers totaled a .541 attack percentage, second-highest in team history, with a mere six errors on 74 attempts.

The Shockers (22-6, 11-3) defeated Indiana State (11-14, 4-9) for the 24th straight time. They also got help from Southern Illinois, which defeated Northern Iowa 3-1. WSU moved percentage points ahead of UNI for first place with four matches remaining. More help came from Missouri State, which swept third-place Illinois State. The Redbirds have dropped four of five matches entering Saturday’s match at Koch Arena.

WSU overmatched the Sycamores with middle Ashley Andrade totaling 13 kills and a .722 attack percentage. Coach Chris Lamb expects major efficiency out of Andrade. The play of his lefts and rights provided his biggest sense of accomplishment. Right-side Sam Sanders had 12 kills and no errors. On the left, Katie Reilly added six kills and two errors and Ashlyn Driskill recorded four kills and one error.

“We were an error-making machine a week ago,” Lamb said. “The thing I’m most happy about is the maturity of the swings on the pins by Ashlyn, Katie Reilly and Sam. We really cleaned that up.”

Those are the kind of numbers Lamb needs to complement Andrade and Elizabeth Field in the middle.

“It gives the pins a lot of confidence,” Andrade said. “They truly did play really smart. We hammered on them this week in practice, working on bad balls and getting them to their spots.”

Kyla Thomas led Indiana State with six kills. The Sycamores hit .081 and finished with 23 kills and 16 errors.

The Shockers dominated the first set. Sycamores coach Tracy Dahl used her final timeout after falling behind 13-7 and had no way to stop the onslaught. WSU hit .640 in the set with 17 kills and one error on 25 swings. Andrade had six kills and Sanders added five.

In the second set, WSU took a 7-2 lead before Indiana State’s serving found weak spots in the back row. Aces by Molly Murphy off WSU’s Katie Reilly gave the Sycamores life. WSU’s passing game struggled and Indiana State cut the lead to 8-7 with another ace and tied it 12-all with still another.

The Shockers responded with a 5-0 run that ended Indiana State’s momentum. The Shockers hit .682 in the set with no errors. Andrade and Sanders — four kills each — continued to lead the offense.

In the third set, WSU jumped to a 9-2 lead. Indiana State never got closer than five points and the Shockers pulled away with a 7-0 run to go up 19-7.

Indiana State’s Morgan Dall, the team leader in kills, injured her left leg in the first set when she ran into the scorer’s table chasing the ball. She finished the set but did not play again.

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