A bump and a spike in attendance

2014 Shocker Volleyball Preview

Written by Laura Roddy

Full of Shocker pride? You can't claim true hometown fanatic status unless your support goes beyond the backboards and the baseball diamond.

Charles Koch Arena isn't the exclusive domain for basketball. It's also the home court of Shocker vol leyball, a team that has been gaining momentum over the last decade.

Coach Chris Lamb is in his 15th season and has led the team to 11 straight 20-win seasons. The team has appeared in seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments, and in 2012, the Shockers reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. In 2013, the team notched both the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title and the Valley Tournament title. Fans are taking note.

According to Wichita State Athletics, the 2013 season was second in the Shocker record books with total attendance of 38,657. The average attendance of 2,577 spectators ranked Wichita State 14th nationally.

Lamb would like to see that number spike in 2014, but it's still light years ahead of where it was his first season, when the crowd only numbered around 100.

"I would love more people to come out and give us a look," Lamb said. "We play a pretty fun style of volleyball It's very acrobatic, very athletic." "Some really special players graduated, but we're excited about what we have in the gym right now," Lamb said.

He and his fellow coaches are spending a lot of time with video and at the whiteboard testing out different scenarios. He expects his lineup and style of play to go through several iterations over the course of the season.

Lamb says he also is hearing a lot of buzz around town about the number of homegrown Kansans on the roster, led by three-year starter Ashlyn Driskill. Wichitans Jim and Tracy Eberhardt bought Shocker volleyball season tickets for the first time this year. Both enjoy watching competitive volleyball and played during their college days.

Tracy says it's always more fun to cheer for a winning team, but their decision to get tickets this year was really more about having both their kids old enough to sit through a match.

Lamb says Shocker fans won't be disappointed. He's pleased with the players progress in practice and says his team is going to be aggressive on the court.

Home schedule

September 19 Illinois State 7 p.m.
September 20 Indiana State 7 p.m.
October 3 UNI 7 p.m.
October 4 Drake 7 p.m.
October 24 Loyola 7 p.m.
October 25 Bradley 7 p.m.
November 7 Missouri State 7 p.m.
November 14 Evansville 5 p.m.
November 15 So. Illinois 7 p.m.
Check out the Shockers at Charles Koch Arena. Call 316-978-FANS or visit goshockers.com for tickets.

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