Wichita State Rallies to Remain Undefeated in Conference Play

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 01st, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News


  • Wichita State (RV) def. UCF 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-12, 25-15)
  • Wichita State moves to 12-3, 4-0 American; UCF falls to 9-7, 2-2 AAC
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Attendance: 2,003
  • Box Score


WICHITA, Kan. – After dropping the opening stanza, Wichita State rebounded with three straight .300-plus hitting efforts in a four-set win over UCF to remain undefeated in American Athletic Conference play.

The Shockers outhit UCF .305 to .137 in the match, while also besting the Knights 13-7 in blocks, 3-0 in aces and 56-51 in kills.

WSU used a balanced attack in the win, with six players posting seven or more kills. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Koon led the way with 12 kills, followed by junior outside Tabitha Brown (11), senior middle blocker Abbie Lehman (10), senior setter Emily Hiebert (8), redshirt freshman middle Emma Wright (8) and senior outside Mikaela Raudsepp (7). Lehman notched a team-best nine blocks, wihle Koon added five and Raudsepp chipped in four. Hiebert hit at a match-high .538 clip, while dishing out 43 assists and adding five digs. Redshirt freshman libero Giorgia Civita pulled up 22 digs, while Raudsepp followed with 10.

Redshirt senior outside Kia Bright was the lone Knight with double-digit kills, tallying 13. Freshman outside Anne Marie Watson (9) and redshirt freshman outside Lache Harper (8) were not far behind. Watson and redshirt senior middle blocker Taylor Wickey put up five blocks apiece for UCF, while junior libero Jordan Pingel registered a match-high 23 digs. Sophomore setter Erin Olson posted a 23-assist, 13-dig double-double, while freshman outside Kristina Fisher chipped in 10 digs.

UCF raced out to a 10-4 run in Set 1, with help from three blocks and kills by four different players. Down 14-8, Wichita State rallied to within one at 15-14. Hiebert notched two kills and the Knights committed two errors in the stretch. A pair of Bright putaways stopped the Shockers momentarily, but two stuffs and a kill by Lehman lifted WSU to an 18-17 lead. The teams tied at a 18, 19 and 20, before UCF managed five of the next six points to wrap up the win. Wickey put up three blocks and added a kill as the Knights took the 25-21 win.

The teams split the first 20 points in Set 2, but the Shockers pushed ahead by three at 14-11 with a kill and a block by Wright. UCF battled back into a tie at 18 with two putaways apiece by Harper and Bright. Wichita State tied the match up with a final 7-2 run. Wright notched three kills in the run, including the set clincher.

The Shockers went up 10-4 in Set 3 before carrying on to an 18-7 lead. Four Knight errors and kills by four different players gave WSU the early six-point advantage. Two kills by Brown and three Lehman blocks upped the edge to 11. The teams traded points over the next 10 serves, before a pair of UCF miscues capped the 25-12 victory.

Raudsepp heated up with four kills, while Heibert and Koon added two putaways apiece and UCF committed six errors as Wichita State jumped ahead 17-9 in Set 4. The Knights scored three of the next four, including two Bright kills, to cut the margin to six at 18-12. Wichita State closed out the victory with seven of the next 10 points. Four players turned in kills, while Hanna Shelton added an ace.


Courtesy: Wichita State Athletics

No. 25 Wichita State used a career-high 12 kills from Alex Koon to defeat UCF 3-1. The Shockers (12-3, 4-0) won by scores of 21-25, 25-20, 25-12 and 25-15.

Tabitha Brown added 11 kills, while Abbie Lehman had 10. Emily Hiebert had 43 assists and eight kills, while Giorgia Civita had 22 digs.

SET 1:
• The Knights used a quick start to take the first set 25-21
• UCF raced out to a 10-4 lead
• WSU used a 5-0 run to pull within 15-14
• A block by Lehman tied the score at 17 and a Lehman kill put WSU up 18-17
• The set went back and forth until UCF scored four of the final five points for a 25-21 win
• The Knights had six blocks in the first set, while the Shockers had three

SET 2:
• The Shockers pulled away late for the 25-20 win
• The set went back and forth until a block from Koon and Emma Wright and a Mikaela Raudsepp kill gave the Shockers a 14-11 lead
• UCF tied it at 18 with a kill, but the Shockers answered with a 3-0 run for a 21-18 lead
• WSU used three kills from Wright down the stretch for the 25-20 win
• Wright, Koon, Brown and Lehman each had four kills in the set

SET 3:
• The Shockers dominated the third set in a 25-12 win
• WSU hit .370 in the set, while holding UCF to -.083
• A kill by Koon put the Shockers up 8-4
• A kill by Hiebert pushed the lead to 16-7
• WSU closed out the set with back-to-back UCF hitting errors for the 25-12 win

SET 4:
• WSU won the match with a 25-15 win in the fourth set
• The Shockers raced out to a 5-1 lead behind the serving of Civita
• The Knights answered with a 4-0 run to tie it at five
• The Shockers responded with a 5-0 run to go in front 10-5
• Wright’s kill pushed the lead to 16-8
• Hanna Shelton’s service ace gave WSU a 22-13 lead, while Hiebert’s kill ended it at 25-15

• The Shockers are next in action on Fri., Oct. 6 at Tulane at 7 p.m.


Courtesy: UCF Athletics

Facing its first ranked opponent of the year, the UCF volleyball team gave No. 25 Wichita State all it could handle, but the Knights (9-7, 2-2) dropped Sunday’s road contest to the Shockers (12-3, 4-0) 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-12, 25-15).

Entering the weekend, only seven teams had taken a set from the Shockers in 2017. Not only did UCF add to that group, but the Black and Gold became just the fourth team to win the opening set against the American Athletic Conference preseason favorites this year.

Kia Bright led the way offensively with 13 kills. Laché Harper notched a career-high eight kills on a team-best .439 clip at the net. Jordan Pingel finished one dig short of her season high, recording 23 in the match against the Shockers. Freshman Alex Fisher posted a career-high 22 assists to go along with Erin Olson’s 23.

The Knights will hit the road again next week to face Tulsa and SMU.

It was an almost perfect start out of the gates. Kills by Westney, Kristina Fisher and Alli Sabol vaulted the Knights to a five-point lead at 9-4, which later extended to 15-9 behind a .439 hitting percentage in the opening stages. The Shockers rallied to trim the lead down to 18-17, before Harper swung momentum firmly in favor of UCF with three straight kills. The Black and Gold hit .225 in the opening set and sent six balls back over the net from Wichita State attacks.

The Knights kept pace with the Shockers early in the second. Tied at 10-10, Wichita State took the lead, but the Black and Gold did not allow the deficit to grow to more than two. Bright powered back-to-back kills through the WSU block to even the set at 18-18. The hosts closed the game on a 7-2 run, but the Knights made them earn it by committing two errors in that stretch.

UCF could not keep pace with Wichita State’s 13-6 lead coming out of the break. The Knights fell on the wrong side of a 6-0 run that put the game out of reach. After the Black and Gold tied up the fourth up at 5-5, the Shockers went on a 15-7 run to seal the match. The hosts hit .370 in the third and a match-high .375 in the fourth.

• The Knights finished with six blocks.
• Jeanne Westney and Anne-Marie Watson were a formidable pairing at the net, combining for 10 block assists.
• UCF was just the sixth team to record seven or more blocks on the Shockers this season.

Head coach Todd Dagenais after the match.
On the match…
“I thought we came into this match with a lot of confidence, which is something I hadn’t seen for quite some time. We were really focused on our side of the net. Wichita State does a lot of things on offense that forces you to get lost. We watched the right keys and just out-executed them in the first set. We were more efficient and did a nice job of taking the match to them.

“The second set was back and forth. We made some inexperienced error late that cost us the set. There were some questionable calls that could have gone either way. Our inexperience gave them a break to get ahead of us. Coming out in the third, we didn’t play poorly. We were trying to win, but not executing well. There was a 10-point stretch where we were out of sync, and it gave them enough of a cushion.

“I was anxious to see how we would do in the fourth set down 2-1. I thought we played hard. We were trying to execute to win. Our errors came when from trying to make things happen against a very good team.”

On facing Wichita State for the first time…
“There is no doubt that they’re the best conference team we’ve played in my 10 years at UCF. I thought we fought tooth and nail against a team made up of a majority of upperclassmen. When I looked over at our side to see freshmen and sophomores on the court, it made me very proud of them for how hard they competed.”

On the block’s performance…
“We made some great reads and lined up correctly. Brian Doyon, who coordinated our defense, put players in the exact positions to be successful. Wichita State is an experience team with so many different looks. As the match went on, they were able to get more quality digs and set up a faster offense. When we were able to load up the block, our players disrupted their attack well.”

On the youth of the team getting experience…
“Our younger players are getting a learning experience. They are able to see what it takes to be an elite-level, conference championship volleyball team. They are starting to understand what we need to do to be a top team.”

On Jordan Pingel and Alex Fisher…
“Jordan was outstanding this weekend with 22 and 23 digs. She settled down defensively, and I can’t wait to see that carry over to all phases of her game. It was nice to see her defense come along and do so well. We had no intention of running a 6-2 today, but we felt like we needed to use that offense. Alex did very well when she was called into set. She’s going to get better. It’s always important to get that first match under your belt, so you’re not nervous the next time you go out there.”

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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