Nine attack errors in a match are too many for Wichita State volleyball coach Chris Lamb, and with good reason.
It doesn’t happen often — six sets this season — and the Shockers lost four of those. WSU did it twice last weekend once in a sweep of Drake and once in a 3-1 loss to Creighton. Reducing errors made its way to the top of Lamb’s list in practices this week, leading into home matches against Evansville on Friday and Southern Illinois on Saturday.
“We’re trying to play a little simpler,” Lamb said. “We’re trying to get people better rhythm on their approaches, better angles of approach, better timing on their approach. It’s just about constant effort to try improve on rhythm between players.”
WSU’s attack percentage of .245 ranks third in the MVC, behind Southern Illinois (.272) and Creighton (.254). Lamb sees an offense that can get better when his hitters make better decisions.
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“Part of that is hitters being smarter,” WSU outside hitter Emily Andey said. “When I make a mistake, I’m upset with myself because there’s another thing you can do that’s better than that mistake, even if it’s not a kill.”
Adney, a senior, is one of several Shockers searching for more consistency on offense. She leads the Shockers with 136 kills, but her attack percentage of .183 is well below her career mark of .249 entering the season. Lamb continues to look for help on the sides beyond Adney and Sam Sanders. Freshmen Katie Reilly, Ashlyn Driskill and MaryAshton Floyd offer potential, but aren’t consistently scoring.
“The good news is we’ve seen some nice high moments (from the freshmen), Lamb said.
Adney thinks she’s been reckless early in the season with her attacks, locking in on hitting down the line, for example, and not taking a safer option. While defenses follow Adney closely, she says she needs to find a better balance between kills and errors.
“You need to look at situations,” she said. “I’m hitting things that aren’t there, being stubborn.”
Notes — SIU’s 11-match win streak ties the longest in program history. The Salukis lost to Eastern Michigan to open the season and owns MVC victories over Indiana State and Illinois State, both sweeps. They won six of their past seven matches in three sets.… SIU also leads the MVC in opponent hitting percentage (.133) and kills (14.3 a set). . . Evansville’s Ashley Ring leads the MVC in kills, 3.86 a set. SIU’s Alysia Mayes (3.85) and teammate Laura Thole (3.80) are second and third. Mayes also leads the MVC in aces, with 21 in 41 sets.