Four Shockers Named All-Conference

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State earned four selections to the 2023 American Athletic Conference postseason All-Conference team, as middle blocker Natalie Foster and opposite Sophia Rohling were named to the First Team and middle blocker Morgan Stout and setter Izzi Strand were chosen to the Second Team.
Foster earns her third career all-conference honor following a Second Team selection in 2021 and a First Team spot in 2022. The talented middle leads all qualified players in the American Athletic Conference and ranks 17th nationally with a .404 hitting percentage in the regular season, becoming the first Wichita State player to hit .400 since Abbie Lehman in 2017. Foster paces the Shockers in points per set (3.42) and is second in both kills per set (2.81) and blocks per set (0.95), establishing a new career high with 106.0 total rejections.

The native of Mattawan, Michigan produced several dominant performances to help power Wichita State to its current 21-8 record. She did not commit an attack error three times over the course of a match (Illinois State, Tulane, UTSA), including a new career-best .800 hitting percentage in the UTSA contest when she scored 12 times on 15 attempts. Foster delivered a season-high 17 kills in the second meeting against Rice on November 18 and notched at least six kills in every match this season. For her career, Foster owns 50 matches with double-digit kills and a combined hitting percentage of .371.

Rohling produced the best season of her five-year Wichita State career, crafting new personal bests in almost every meaningful offensive category to earn her third All-Conference honor (2021 Spring First Team, 2022 Second Team). The native of Thayer, Kansas breached the 300-kill mark with 309 terminations, averaging 3.00 kills per set and 3.37 points per set. Since the start of conference play, Rohling has elevated her game to the next level, hitting .302 while leading the Shockers with 498 attempts. She had double-digit kills in 13 of 19 conference matches, including a season-best 19 on the road at Tulane and 18 in a home win over North Texas.

Arguably the best outing of her season came in Wichita State’s stunning win over eventual conference champion SMU, when Rohling hit .500 against the Mustangs with 14 kills and just one error in 26 swings. Rohling also upped her game defensively with the opportunity to play back row, setting a new career high in digs that included her first career double-double in a win over Rice on November 17. The 6’3 lefty added 59.0 total blocks for a combined sum of 347.0 points. Both Rohling and Foster reached the 1,000 career kill mark in 2023, joining Brylee Kelly to give Wichita State the nation’s only trio of players with 1,000 career kills on the same roster.

Stout compiled a breakout 2023 season, registering the first postseason All-Conference nod of her career. The redshirt junior raised her hitting percentage a staggering 155 points from 2022, vaulting near the top of the conference leaderboard with a .333 mark despite an increase of more than 250 attempts compared to a year ago. Stout authored a handful of superlative performances, including a 17-kill, 20-point match in a road win at Memphis, 13 kills, nine digs and four blocks in a win at Rice and 15 kills on the road at Texas Tech. Her 2.35 kills per set and 2.96 points per set rank third on the team, while she once again leads the Shockers in blocks with 110.0 total rejections and 1.00 per set.

Stout was a consistent force in conference play, culminating in an AAC Offensive Player of the Week honor after hitting .524 with 13 kills in a home win over UAB. All told, Stout hit .350 in conference matches and had double-digit kills seven times. For her career, the native of Fowler, Kansas has produced 691.0 total points after setting new career best in kills, aces, digs and blocks in 2023.

Strand stepped right into the Shocker lineup in her first season with the program and quickly established herself as one of the conference’s top setters. As the lone setter in Wichita State’s 5-1 offense, the UC San Diego transfer totaled 1,161 assists, a figure that leads the conference and ranks 31st nationally. Her 10.37 assists per set are second on the circuit and 37th nationally while her .399 set percentage ranks third. Strand established a new career high with 60 assists in a road win at Tulane on October 13 and recorded at least 50 helpers on three other occasions. When calling her own number, Strand racked up 88 kills at a .211 clip, highlighted by eight terminations in the season opener against Notre Dame.

The native of Carlsbad, California became a reliable cog in the Shockers excellent defensive unit, contributing 2.41 digs per set and 0.36 blocks per set. She had a season-best 16 digs on the road at Rice on November 18 and six blocks in Wichita State’s road win over Illinois on September 1.

2023 American Athletic Conference Postseason Awards

Player of the Year
Emma Clothier, Gr., MB, SMU

Libero of the Year
Sina Uluave, Gr., SMU

Setter of the Year
Celia Cullen, Sr., SMU

Freshman of the Year
Avery Burks, OH, Tulane

Coach of the Year
Sam Erger, SMU

First Team All-Conference
Angeles Alderete, So., OH, East Carolina
Sh’Diamond, Holly, Sr., MB, North Texas
Emilia Weske, Gr., RS, Rice*
Maria Clara Andrade, So., OH, South Florida
Buse Hazan, So., OH, South Florida
Emma Clothier, Gr., MB, SMU*
Celia Cullen, Sr., S, SMU*
Sina Uluave, Sr., L, SMU
Jamison Wheeler, Jr., OH, SMU*
Kayley Cassaday, Gr., OH, Tulsa
Natalie Foster, Jr., MB, Wichita State*
Sophia Rohling, Sr., OPP, Wichita State
*denotes unanimous selection

Second Team All-Conference
Valeria Rosado, Jr., OH/RS, Florida Atlantic
Danyle Courtley, Sr., OH, Rice
Nia McCardell, Sr., L, Rice
Caroline Dykes, Jr., S, South Florida
Natalie Perdue, Sr., OH, SMU
Mia Soerensen, So., OPP, UTSA
Morgan Stout, R-Jr., MB, Wichita State

Izzi Strand, Sr., S, Wichita State