WICHITA STATE (9-6, 3-3 American)

Friday, Oct. 15 (7 p.m. CT) vs. East Carolina (7-8, 3-3)
Wichita, Kansas (Charles Koch Arena)
Live Stats // ESPN+

Sunday, Oct. 17 (1 p.m. CT) vs. Cincinnati (10-4, 5-1)
Wichita, Kansas (Charles Koch Arena)
Live Stats // ESPN+


 
Winner of their last three matches, Wichita State looks to stay hot with home dates against East Carolina on Friday and Cincinnati on Sunday.

The Shockers picked up road wins last weekend at Memphis and SMU to move into a tie for sixth in the American Athletic Conference Standings.

Friday night, WSU hosts East Carolina on Dig Pink Night in support of Breast Cancer awareness. Wear pink to support this great cause and receive $5 admission. A limited number of pink Shocker volleyballs will be given away to the first fans in attendance. Sunday’s matinee matchup with Cincinnati is Read to Win Day. Donate your gently used books to receive $5 admission to the match. Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN+. For more information about subscriptions, which start at $6.99/month, visit plus.espn.com.

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SCENE SETTERS:

  • The Shockers look to build off a pair of road victories with a return to Charles Koch Arena for matches with East Carolina and Cincinnati.
  • Wichita State has now won three consecutive matches. They opened the season by winning four straight, and in 2020 the Shockers rattled off eight consecutive wins to begin the season. WSU has not won four straight conference matches since their undefeated run through the American in 2017.
  • WSU downed Memphis 25-19, 25-22, 19-25, 25-18 on Friday night thanks to 16 kills apiece from Brylee Kelly and Natalie Foster and a sterling defensive effort. The Shockers held the Tigers to a hitting percentage of just .134, forcing 31 attack errors.
  • The Shockers followed up Friday’s win with a gritty victory over SMU on Sunday in Dallas, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 15-8. WSU took the first six points of the fifth set and never let the Mustangs get closer than four points the rest of the way.
  • Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Brylee Kelly was named to the American Weekly Honor Roll after stacking 29 kills on Sunday, the second-most kills in a single match in WSU program history (rally scoring era). Kelly added 16 kills Friday, racking up 45 in total for the weekend.
  • Kelly now ranks fifth in the conference with 3.43 kills per set.
  • Freshman middle Natalie Foster matched a season high Friday with 16 kills, then bested it Sunday with 17 more putaways. Over the course of the two matches she had 33 kills on 58 attacks, committing just five errors.
  • Sophomore setter Kayce Litzau established a new career high on Sunday with 61 assists. Over her last four matches, Litzau is averaging 11.4 assists per set.
  • Senior defensive specialist Bryn Stansberry set a new season high with 15 digs on Sunday. The Shockers totaled 128 digs over the nine sets against Memphis and SMU.
  • Sophomore libero Lily Liekweg matched her season high with three service aces on Sunday in addition to recording her sixth match of the season with 20 or more digs.
  • The Shockers hit a combined .272 in the two road victories, while holding the Tigers and Mustangs to a combined .175 hitting percentage. WSU ranks second in the conference in opponent hitting percentage, limiting the opposition to just a .191 kill rate.
  • WSU has not lost to East Carolina since joining the American in 2017, and has dropped just one set in the five conference meetings. The Shockers swept a pair of matches in 2017, lost one set over the course of two more wins in 2018, and swept a single match in 2019. The two teams did not meet in 2020.
  • The Pirates were picked in a tie for tenth in the American preseason poll, getting 18 points along with Memphis.
  • The Shockers are 2-3 in AAC matches against Cincinnati, winning both matches in 2017 before losing twice in 2018 and once in 2019. In the 2018 meeting at Koch Arena, Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson set an American record with 44 kills in a five-set Bearcats win.
  • Cincinnati was picked fifth in the American preseason poll, garnering 61 points.
  • The Shockers improved to 59th in the RPI after ranking 70th on the initial RPI leaderboard.
  • During the nonconference portion of the schedule, WSU picked up wins over Missouri State (RPI 56) and Arkansas State (77) and took a five-setter against South Dakota (127).
  • The Shockers won the A-State Invitational (Aug. 27-28) to open the season but subsequently missed the SDSU Invite and a significant stretch of practice time due to COVID-19 issues within the program. The Shockers returned to action Sep. 10-11 with a 2-1 weekend at the Kansas Invitational.
  • WSU is 4-1 in five-set matches (beat A-State, Delaware, South Dakota, SMU, lost to UCF).
  • Head coach Chris Lamb recorded his 450th career win earlier this month. Lamb is one of only 24 active Division I coaches who have reached that milestone while winning more than two-thirds of their matches (454-211, .683).
  • The Shockers (9-8 last spring) return five starters, including all-conference opposite Sophia Rohling, and are picked eighth in the American Athletic Conference.
  • 18 of the 20 players on WSU’s roster are underclassmen by eligibility and only four rotation players (Kelly, Liekweg, Litzau and Rohling) have been in the program for more than two seasons.

WSU-EAST CAROLINA SERIES:

  • The Shockers hold a 5-0 lead in the all-time series. The two teams have not met outside of AAC play.
  • WSU is 2-0 against ECU in Wichita, and 3-0 in Greenville.

 
SCOUTING EAST CAROLINA:

  • The Pirates enter the weekend 7-8 overall and 3-3 in the American. Of the 15 matches ECU has played, 14 of the 15 have ended in a sweep. Only the Pirates four-set win at South Florida on September 26 has gone more than three sets.
  • ECU was swept in each of their first four matches to begin the season, then responded with three sweeps of their own. Their best opponent of the non-conference schedule was North Carolina (RPI 28), who bested the Pirates in three sets on September 4.
  • The Pirates rank last in the American in both assists and kills, ranking second-to-last with a .165 hitting percentage.
  • WSU and ECU both have an opposing hitting percentage of .191, tied for second-best in the American.
  • Seniors Bri Wood (9th) and Natalie Tyson (15th) rank in the top 15 of the conference in kills per set at 2.97 and 2.74, respectively.


WSU-CINCINNATI SERIES:

  • Cincinnati leads the all-time series 4-2, with five of six meetings in American play.
  • The Bearcats won the lone non-conference meeting, a four-set victory in Wichita in 2016.
  • WSU is 1-4 at home and 1-1 on the road against Cincinnati.


SCOUTING CINCINNATI:

  • The Bearcats enter the weekend 10-4 overall with a 5-1 conference mark, part of a three-way tie atop the conference standings.
  • The Bearcats rank 61st in the RPI, two spots behind Wichita State.
  • Cincinnati owns a win against Notre Dame (RPI 27) in the non-conference, while also dropping a three-set match to defending champion and third-ranked Kentucky.
  • The Bearcats lead the American in kills and assists per set.
  • Cincinnati’s 6-2 system features a senior setter in Arman Heckenmueller (6.21 assists per set) and a freshman in Emme Madden (8.98). Madden is the reigning American Offensive Player of the Week.
  • Cincy averages just 1.64 blocks per set, the fewest in the American.
  • Head Coach Molly Alvey took over in 2012 and led the Bearcats to their first ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2019. She was named AAC Coach of the Year in 2016.


UP NEXT:

  • The Shockers hit the road for four straight, beginning with a Wednesday showdown against rival Tulsa.
  • On Sunday, WSU heads to Philadelphia for their first meeting of the season with Temple.
  • Next weekend, the Shockers travel to the Sunshine State for matches with South Florida and UCF.
  • All games will be streamed live on ESPN+.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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