WSU notes: Volleyball hits Valley road

10/31/2013 5:15 PM

10/31/2013 5:16 PM

Wichita State’s volleyball team will try to stay in a tie for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference during its road swing this weekend.

The Shockers (20-5, 9-2 MVC) play at Evansville (3-8, 8-14) at 7 p.m. Friday and at fourth-place Southern Illinois (12-11, 7-4) on Saturday. WSU is tied for first with Northern Iowa, percentage points ahead of third-place Illinois State.

WSU is coming off a 3-0 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, snapping a five-match win streak. The Panthers play at Drake on Saturday in their lone match this weekend.

The Shockers swept Evansville and SIU at Koch Arena earlier this season. They held Evansville to a negative-.080 attack percentage, its best defensive performance in conference play. WSU has won 23 of 24 matches against Evansville and 23 straight against SIU.

SIU, Bradley favored in cross country — WSU’s women’s cross country team is picked fourth and the men fifth in the MVC cross country championships on Saturday in Des Moines.

The WSU women are coming off a fourth-place finish at the Bradley Classic, two spots behind MVC favorite Bradley. WSU’s Sam Shukla ranks 10th in the conference with a 5-kilometer time of 17 minutes, 44 seconds.

The Shocker men finished second at Bradley. Two Shockers are in the top 10 of 8-kilometer times — No. 3 Brady Johnson (24:29) and No. 10 Ryan Hocker (24:45).

Bradley is the women‘s favorite and the Braves received six first-place votes in the poll, with Illinois State receiving four. Defending champion SIU is the men’s favorite after receiving eight of the nine votes. Bradley earned one first-place vote.

The men’s race begins at 10:30 a.m. The women’s race follows at 11:30.

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