Highlights of the week ahead:
▪ Wichita State volleyball, after winning two of three matches in Hawaii, plays in the Texas A&M Invitational. The Shockers play Abilene Christian (0-3) and New Mexico State (3-1) on Friday. New Mexico State took No. 16 Arizona State to five sets before losing on Saturday. The Aggies were picked second in the WAC, behind UMKC.
WSU plays Texas A&M (1-1) on Saturday. A&M lost to No.2 Stanford and defeated Minnesota 3-2 in its opening week. Both A&M and Minnesota received votes in the AVCA preseason poll.
▪ WSU’s cross country teams open the season with the JK Gold Classic on Saturday at the RAFT Golf Course near Augusta. High school races start at 8 a.m. with college races at 8:30 and 9. Kansas State will compete. Both WSU teams are picked third in the MVC.
▪ Wichita State’s Abbie Lehman and libero Dani Mostrom earned spots on the Rainbow Wahine Invitational all-tournament team after helping the Shockers go 2-1 in Honolulu. Lehman, a sophomore middle blocker, averaged 3.90 kills and 1.60 blocks a set. Mostrom, a junior, averaged 5.40 digs. Hawaii’s Nikki Taylor was named Most Outstanding Player.
▪ Iowa Western Community College point guard Donovan Jackson committed to Iowa State. He canceled a visit to WSU this weekend. As is often the case, coaches go into quiet mode when a commitment is near. It was tough to get Iowa Western coaches to confirm the visit when I tried last week, which turned out to be a clue something was up. When I did talk to a coach, he wasn’t clear about Jackson’s future and not at all talkative.
▪ D. C. guard Jeff Dowtin did visit WSU and his coach has a long connection with WSU’s Gregg Marshall.
▪ MVC volleyball didn’t do anything spectacular to help itself in its opening weekend. WSU’s win over Oregon State, a Sweet 16 team last season, leads the field.
Missouri State went 3-0 against competition that looks sneaky-good — Western Michigan is picked second in the MAC West and Milwaukee second in the Horizon League. MSU has a chance to make a splash this weekend and continue building a strong at-large resume. The Bears get Marquette, picked second in the Big East, and Miami (Fla.), picked fourth in the ACC, at home.
Defending MVC champion Illinois State took Kansas State to five sets in Florida before losing and lost 3-0 to Miami (Fla.). Northern Iowa went 1-2 with losses to Baylor (3-2) and at No. 12 Colorado State. Drake (4-0) knocked off DePaul, which is picked ninth the Big East. If that is Drake’s contribution to the MVC RPI, everybody should be thrilled.
Monday’s reading recommendation:
ESPN.com: Basketball coaches say giving money to an athlete will influence the choice of school.