Shockers Down Red Wolves, Advance to Round Two

WICHITA, Kan. —¬†Wichita State’s trademark balanced offense produced five players with at least seven kills as the Shockers rolled past Arkansas State 25-17, 25-20, 25-19 in Round 1 of the NIVC¬†at Charles Koch Arena.

The Shockers advance to take on Tulsa on Friday at 1:30 pm. The Golden Hurricane defeated Kansas City 3-1 in Thursday’s early match.

Wichita State (22-8) was in command throughout the evening, trailing just twice overall and only once for more than a single point. The Shockers set the tone with a 6-0 run in the middle stages of set one, turning a tight 14-12 affair into a comfortable 20-12 lead. The Red Wolves (16-15) used a 3-0 spurt of their own later in the frame to pull within 21-16, but a pair of Arkansas State attack errors combined with an ace from Izzi Strand allowed the Shockers to pull away for a 25-17 win.

The Shockers struck first in set two, snatching a quick 7-2 advantage with help from Natalie Foster, who had four kills on six swings in the stanza. Brylee Kelly and Sophia Rohling found the range with three kills apiece to swell the lead to 20-11, but Arkansas State did not go quietly. The Red Wolves scored seven of the next eight points to force a Wichita State timeout with the lead trimmed to 21-18. Kills from Foster and Rohling restored order, and Barbara Koehler tooled the block on set point for 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.

Arkansas State took their largest lead out of the gates in set three, grabbing a 6-3 edge. The lead advantage proved to be short-lived, however, as WSU rattled off eight of the next 11 points to ease in front, 11-9. A Haley Glunz kill brought the Red Wolves level late in the set at 17-17, but Wichita State embarked on a 5-1 run that all but put the match away. Rohling sandwiched two more kills around a termination from Foster to clinch Wichita State’s 11th sweep of the season.

It was an efficient offensive night for the Shockers, who hit .308 as a team. Koehler, Rohling and Morgan Stout all tied for match-high honors with nine kills, highlighted by Stout’s .750 hitting percentage without an attack error. Foster also went without a miscue on her 16 tries, and Kelly added seven kills of her own. Strand directed traffic to the tune of 33 assists and contributed a team-high-tying 11 digs, matching Katie Galligan’s total in her first career start at libero.