Highlights of the week ahead:
▪ Wichita State’s volleyball team travels to Evansville (7-11, 1-3 MVC) on Monday (7 p.m.). This will be a busy week for the Shockers, with a 606-mile bus trip to Evansville followed by travel to Northern Iowa and Drake this weekend. While the Panthers aren’t up to their historic standards — they’ve lost two straight to Indiana State for the first time — winning in Cedar Falls is normally tough. UNI carries a four-match winning streak over WSU into Friday’s match.
WSU has won 29 straight matches over Drake. The Bulldogs (12-10, 3-2) did win at Indiana State on Saturday and there’s a hint of danger that hasn’t existed in the past. Drake already has its most wins since 2010.
The Shockers (11-6, 2-1) faced one of the Missouri Valley Conference’s busiest player (Missouri State left Lily Johnson) on Friday and see another on Monday in Evansville’s Genesis Miranda. She ranks second in the Valley with an average of 4.24 kills a set. Her 849 attack attempts are 342 more than any teammate.
Evansville’s ESPN3 service for home events is not running yet, so no viewing for this match.
▪ WSU’s softball team scrimmages Seminole (Okla.) State on Tuesday (3 p.m.) and Southern Nazarene on Friday (6:30 p.m.).
▪ WSU’s tennis teams continue play in the ITA All-American Championships this week, the men in Tulsa and the women in Pacific Palisades, Calif. WSU’s Tin Ostojic, ranked No. 26, in the ITA preseason list, starts singles play Thursday in the main draw. He will team with Jocelyn Devilliers in qualifying doubles competition.
▪ Missouri State grabbed control — it’s early — of the MVC volleyball race with Friday’s 3-1 win at Koch Arena. They meet again on Oct. 31 in Springfield. UNI is fading after an 0-2 weekend and Illinois State is hanging around. The MVC’s next big weekend is Oct. 23-24, when MSU and WSU travel to Illinois State and Indiana State.
▪ WSU junior Brady Johnson set the school record in the 8-kilometer with a time time of 23 minutes, 54.16 seconds on Saturday at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. Johnson, from Plainville, broke Mornay Annandale’s mark of 24:09.72, set on Oct. 3, 1992.
▪ Abby Stevens won her second straight MVC Individual Championships No. 1 singles title on Sunday in Springfield, Ill. The Shockers won two other singles titles, which is a testament to the program’s depth. The Shockers also sent four players to the ITA tournament in California to face tougher competition than the MVC offers.
Monday’s reading recommendation
Gregg Popovich got his start coaching a bad college team in California.