WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Fall sports tend to get overshadowed by football season, but Wichita State University Volleyball is here, and they are ready to make some noise.
The Shockers wrapped up their fifth day of practice and held their 2022 Media Day. KSN spoke with Head Coach Chris Lamb and two veteran leaders, Morgan Stout and Brylee Kelly.
Coach Lamb says he expects his team to play a better brand of volleyball this year than last. The Shockers finished fifth in the American Conference with an overall record of 19-10.
Their best season came in 2017. The Shockers went undefeated in the regular season and made it to the third round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament.
This year’s goal is to go dancing again.
“We just have to keep that same mentality. We need to stay hungry every single day, not just in games, but in practices too,” said Morgan Stout, Wichita States middle blocker.
The Shockers have no seniors on the roster, but they do have red-shirt junior Brylee Kelly, an outside hitter that has emerged as a leader on and off the court.
“This is the Brylee we thought we would be getting someday. She is a leader on this team who wants the ball. She demands the ball. She’s really upped her game later in her career rather than having her learning curve flatten out,” explained Lamb.
Kelly saw the need for a leader and took it upon herself to fill the missing piece.
“The role was there, and I grabbed it right away, and we all kind of started connecting well. We were young, so I stepped into the role and was like, my team needs me, now let’s do this,” Kelly said.
Kelly went on to be unanimously named First Team All-Conference in 2021 and was the only American Athletic Conference (AAC) underclassman ranked in the top five in both kills and points per set.
The Shockers begin their season on the road in Wyoming for the Rumble in the Rockies Tournament on Aug. 28.