Foster’s Career Day Propels Shockers to Sweep

WICHITA, Kan. — Natalie Foster set a new career high by hitting .800, scoring 12 times on 15 swings, to power Wichita State to a 25-21, 25-16, 25-20 sweep of UTSA on Saturday afternoon at Charles Koch Arena.

The Shockers (19-7, 13-3) had to rally for a win in the opening set, erasing a late 18-16 deficit on the strength of a 5-0 run that featured three kills from Sophia Rohling. After UTSA (15-13, 8-9) scored to trim the Wichita State lead back to two, the Shockers immediately rattled off three of the next four points to reach set point with a 24-20 advantage. Brylee Kelly terminated on the ensuing sideout opportunity to nail down the opener.

Kelly finished with eight kills on the day, moving past Becky Sutter (1990-93) into 10th place on the Wichita State career kills leaderboard. The redshirt senior has 1,122 kills for her career.

Wichita State controlled sets two and three virtually from start to finish, largely due to the efforts of Foster. The middle blocker was a perfect 5-for-5 in the second stanza and followed that up with a 5-for-7 showing in the third. Her 12 kills for the match made her the third Shocker this season to reach 1,000 career kills, joining Rohling and Kelly.

The Shockers turned a competitive second set into a rout thanks to another extended run. Leading 15-14 midway through the frame, Wichita State scored eight of the next nine points to open up a comfortable 23-15 cushion. Kills from Rohling and Morgan Weber wrapped up a 25-16 win a 2-0 lead.

WSU left no doubt in the third set, bursting out to a 9-2 lead that UTSA could not overcome. Wichita State hit .325 in the set, getting five kills from Morgan Stout to match Foster’s total. The Roadrunners twice cut the Wichita State lead to four in the closing stages, but the Shockers responded with a kill each time. Stout terminated on match point to secure the Shockers ninth sweep of the season.

Wichita State out-dug the Roadrunners 62-51, getting 18 ups from Gabi Maas and 14 from Weber. Setter Izzi Strand surpassed 1,000 assists for the season, dishing out 40 helpers to go along with 11 digs of her own.

Wichita State embarks on their final road trip of the regular season next week, heading to Houston for two matches against conference newcomer Rice. Friday’s match is scheduled for 6:00 pm while Saturday’s first serve is at 2:00 pm.