PHILADELPHIA — Natalie Foster led all scorers with 16 kills and Wichita State recovered from a third set stumble to roll past Temple 25-13, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20 on Sunday afternoon at McGonigle Hall.
The Shockers (13-11, 8-5) made quick work of the first two sets, leading from start to finish in the first and grabbing an advantage after the ninth point in set two they did not relinquish. Wichita State hit a robust .345 in the opening frame, as the surging trio of Foster, Brylee Kelly and Sophia Rohling each had at least three kills and hit .400 or better. Three aces right out of the gate gave the Shockers an 8-0 lead, and the Owls (9-16, 3-11) never got closer than six the rest of the way. Morgan Weber was a standout defensively in the set, recording three blocks.
The combination of Kayce Litzau and Foster carried the Shockers in the second set, with the junior setter dishing out 11 assists, six of which resulted in Foster kills. Two big service aces late in the frame from Weber swelled the WSU advantage to 20-14 after a mini Temple run, and Morgan Stout put the finishing touches on the set with a solo block.
Temple took control late in the third set, turning a 19-19 tie into a 23-19 advantage with four straight points. WSU tried to battle back after a service error and a Rohling kill, but an Owls block and a kill from Peyton Boyd kept Temple alive heading into the fourth stanza.
Wichita State unleashed the full brunt of their offensive firepower in the deciding fourth, hitting a match-best .414 while committing just one attack error. Rohling had five kills to lead the way, and Weber chipped in three. The key sequence came early in the set, as Temple had surged to a 10-5 lead that prompted a WSU timeout. Out of the break, Wichita State scored six quick points to take the lead, and the Owls did not grab the advantage back the rest of the match. Four Owls service errors down the stretch preserved the lead, and Kelly eventually slammed the door with an emphatic kill to secure the win.
Kelly finished just one kill shy of another double-double, notching nine terminations and 11 digs, while Rohling continued her strong play with 14 kills on a .323 attack percentage. Litzau had 37 assists, 13 digs and three aces, and Weber and Lara Uyar tied to the team high with 14 digs.
The Shockers return home to Charles Koch Arena next Friday to host Tulane. First serve from The Roundhouse is scheduled for 7:00 pm.