Indiana State vs. Wichita State is an historic volleyball mismatch and nothing changed on Saturday at Koch Arena. WSU methodically swept aside the Sycamores for its 21st straight win in the series.
The Shockers (13-5, 6-2 Missouri Valley Conference) battled to 25-17 and 25-21 wins before overwhelming Indiana State 25-14 in the final set. WSU last lost a set to the Sycamores at home in 2002 and last lost a match in 2000. Neither streak looked the least bit nervous.
After playing three matches in four days, coach Chris Lamb liked the way his team handled the test. The Shockers won at Oklahoma on Wednesday and defeated scrappy Illlinois State on Friday. The Shockers hit .340 against Indiana State, their second-highest attack percentage in eight MVC matches, and their efficiency ground down the Sycamores.
“We made six percent attack errors, so we didn’t give them anything,” Lamb said. “If we play clean, we should beat a lot of teams we should beat.”
Before the match, Lamb told the Shockers this is the time of year many teams check out. The grind of conference play is in full swing. The optimism of the early season gives way to reality. Injuries and academics become more of an issue.
Senior libero Jackie Church sees no reason for those ills to hit the Shockers.
“I don’t expect anything less than us to fight through,” she said. “Everyone has to go through it. I tell our girls we want to be hit at and we want to be put on the ground every day, because that’s what’s going to make us better.”
WSU outside hitter Emily Adney had 10 kills and hit .323. Setter Chelsey Feekin added nine kills on 12 swings for a .750 attack percentage, matching her career high. Ashlyn Driskill and right-side Sam Sanders both added eight kills. Church also had a career-high two kills, both on overpasses that caught the Sycamores off guard, one coming from deep in the back row. She also had two of WSU’s eight service aces.
That’s the way it usually the way it goes for Indiana State in Koch Arena.
“With as tired as everybody is, to take 103 swings and make seven attack errors, that says a lot,” Lamb said. “It was a nice blend of stick and move and land a few body punches.”
The Shockers rolled to a 5-1 lead in the final set, boosting that to 7-2 before forcing a Sycamores timeout. Another run made it 12-5 and Sycamores coach Traci Dahl needed another break. Up 19-9, Lamb began to clear his bench.
WSU hit .323 in the first set and spread out its scoring. Sanders led with four kills on eight swings. Elizabeth Field added three on five attempts. The Sycamores gave up four service aces, including the final two points of the match on serves by Church.
The Shockers built a 20-14 lead in the second set, then allowed the Sycamores to fight back. Two timeouts later, the lead shrank to 20-19. A service error by Indiana State’s Molly Murphy ended its run. Then Field and Feekin combined on a block. Adney, on her way to five kills in the set, hammered in a point off Murphy in the back row for a 23-20 lead. Feekin finished the set with a setter dump and by winning a joust at the net. Indiana State’s Christe Fullenkamp, held to one kill in the first set, dented WSU for eight on 17 attempts in the second.