Wichita State is the Missouri Valley Conference volleyball regular-season champion after a five-year absence.
Senior Sam Sanders had a career-high 19 kills and senior Ashley Andrade had 17 as the Shockers defeated Missouri State 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19) on Friday night in Springfield, Mo. The victory clinched a share of the conference crown for WSU (26-6, 15-3), though Northern Iowa can claim a share with a home victory Saturday against Loyola on the final day of conference play.
WSU started slowly Friday, falling victim to a 5-0 Missouri State run in the first set in a 25-23 setback. But trailing 8-4 in the second set, the Shockers rallied with five straight points on two separate occasions, keeping the lead to even the match.
Sanders made the key kill in the third set. It gave the Shockers a 22-21 lead that they didn’t relinquish, winning the set on a Missouri State hitting error.
Alyssa Carney had consecutive service aces in the fourth set that put WSU ahead 13-7, and the Shockers cruised to the victory.
WSU plays host to the MVC tournament beginning Thursday at Koch Arena. The third- through sixth-place teams meet in Thursday matches, with WSU and Northern Iowa receiving byes into the Friday semifinals. WSU will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with the final on Saturday.