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An Early Look At Next Season & Quite a Few New Faces

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  • An Early Look At Next Season & Quite a Few New Faces

    WSU volleyball looking to mop up the mess after first losing season since 2001

    BY TAYLOR ELDRIDGE

    “We’ve made a mess and now it’s time for us to clean it up,” Lamb said. “I hope to reinstall commitment and team unity. I think we lost some of that last year and I want it back.”
    We know Tabitha Brown is transferring to Rice. And it had previously been reported that Abby Pugh was transferring to San Diego State. What I had not heard previously is the Alex Koon, who would have been a redshirt senior, will graduate and not complete her final year of eligibility plus Grace Burken is transferring to Iowa State and Chase Jackson is also transferring. That’s five of the nine hitters who took 58 percent of the team’s swings last season all gone.

    “I want to get better at fighting together,” Lamb said. “I think we became a fractured group. I don’t think we had great unity, certainly compared to others. I want us all to look in the mirror and own up to it and take responsibility and commit to having a hand in turning that part around. Because that matters.”
    Junior Emma Wright has two years of experience in the middle now and sophomore Megan Taflinger is set to become the team’s go-to force after tallying 339 kills last season. Taflinger redshirted her first year at WSU, then became a star. That’s the route Lamb is hoping redshirt freshman Brylee Kelly (outside) and Chinelo Ogogor (middle) take this season. He’s also excited about incoming freshman Sophia Rohling from Neodesha.

    “I thought Brylee and Chinelo would have made us better last year, but we decided to keep them as redshirts,” Lamb said. “We’re really excited about both of them. Our middle will not only improving just blocking, but also scoring in the middle. Our setting is going to get much better and in doing so, our middle attacking is also going to get much better.”
    On the flip side of player movement Lambo is bringing in a transfer from Nevada. 5-9 junior-to be McKayla Wuensch, who was the secondary option at setter for the Wolfpack last year, will join Kora Kauling (most likely) running the 6-2 again next year but Lambo is also high in incoming freshman Kayce Litzau.

    Giorgia Civita is the centerpiece of the team and had to carry an oversized load last year. But Kara Bown came on late in the season and Lambo has brought in 3 defenisve specialists that he is pretty high on.

    Lamb is looking forward to the fresh start.


    Last edited by 1972Shocker; January 24th, 2019, 06:46 PM.

  • #2
    Could be some addition by subtraction going on here. Seems this program had some of its best chemistry the last 3-4 years followed by this years nightmare.

    Comment


    • pogo
      pogo commented
      Editing a comment
      The way the article read to me was the chemistry was bad which was the “mess” and the cleaning referred to the transfers. Of course I could be way off base. Good to be back

  • #3
    Even if the Shockers' team chemistry is much better this year they still have some major challenges in returning to the top of the heap. They will still be pretty inexperienced very inexperienced at some key positions not the least of which is at setter.

    At the setter position we have 6-2 So. Kora Kauling who struggled quite a bit last year especially with setting the middles, 5-9 Jr. transfer .McKayla Wuensch and 6-0 true freshman Kayce Litzau. McKayla is a bit undersized and was a backup setter at Nevada playing in about 43% of Nevada's sets in her 2 years and those Nevada teams went 10-20 and 8-21 out of the Mountain West. It would be great if Kayce Litzau was the 2nd coming of Emily Heibert but even Emily redshirted as a freshman.

    The Shockers weren't consistently strong on the pins last year but part of that was our inability to connect with the middles which allowed teams to construct defenses to take away a lot of scoring lanes from the outside hitters. Hopefully Megan Taflinger and Regan Stiawalt will continue to bet better and more consistent. Emma Wright and Brooke Smith should ready to make a strong combo in the middle if our setters can get synched up with them. Beyond that we needs some redshirts and newcomers to step up. Lambo speaks highly of redshirts Chinelo Ogogor and Brylee Kelly. Let's hope they are ready to go. True freshmen Nicole Anderson, a 6-0 outside hitter and 6-3 Sophia Rohling out of Neodesha are two players Lambo seems to think have great potential. I just wander what kind of competition Sophia has faced through high school. Looks like she played on 4 different club teams in 5 years including 2 years with the Shockwave Volleyball Academy so Lambo no doubt has a pretty good idea what he is getting with Sophia.

    Defensively we are automatically solid on the back row with Jr. Giorgia Civita at the Libero. Hopefully, we can give her more help this year. Sr. Kara Bown showed some improvement during the latter part of last year as she gained experience and Lambo has loaded up this year's recruiting class with several defensive specialists. Also the status of Jenna Mak is kind of a wild card. Lambo felt like Jenna, who will be a sophomore, could have helped last year but she had to set out the year due to a head injury she sustained in high school that has been a challenge for the Doctors to get on top of. Her prognosis seems to be uncertain last I heard anything.

    Last year we were not a very good blocking team. Part of that I think was because Lambo designed our blocking schemes to try to funnel as many balls as possible to Giorgia. Whether or not that will remain to be the case next season is hard to say at this point.

    I'm thinking this next season will continue to be a rebuilding season and, hopefully, the following season will be the year the Shockers make a strong move back to the top of the AAC.




    Comment


    • #4
      Thank you for that analysis. Always appreciated

      Comment


      • 1972Shocker
        1972Shocker commented
        Editing a comment
        Remember you get what you pay for.

    • #5
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BuJ7-mEA...d=2jhcso9vnvzu
      "You Just Want to Slap The #### Outta Some People"

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
        Even if the Shockers' team chemistry is much better this year they still have some major challenges in returning to the top of the heap. They will still be pretty inexperienced very inexperienced at some key positions not the least of which is at setter.

        At the setter position we have 6-2 So. Kora Kauling who struggled quite a bit last year especially with setting the middles, 5-9 Jr. transfer .McKayla Wuensch and 6-0 true freshman Kayce Litzau. McKayla is a bit undersized and was a backup setter at Nevada playing in about 43% of Nevada's sets in her 2 years and those Nevada teams went 10-20 and 8-21 out of the Mountain West. It would be great if Kayce Litzau was the 2nd coming of Emily Heibert but even Emily redshirted as a freshman.

        The Shockers weren't consistently strong on the pins last year but part of that was our inability to connect with the middles which allowed teams to construct defenses to take away a lot of scoring lanes from the outside hitters. Hopefully Megan Taflinger and Regan Stiawalt will continue to bet better and more consistent. Emma Wright and Brooke Smith should ready to make a strong combo in the middle if our setters can get synched up with them. Beyond that we needs some redshirts and newcomers to step up. Lambo speaks highly of redshirts Chinelo Ogogor and Brylee Kelly. Let's hope they are ready to go. True freshmen Nicole Anderson, a 6-0 outside hitter and 6-3 Sophia Rohling out of Neodesha are two players Lambo seems to think have great potential. I just wander what kind of competition Sophia has faced through high school. Looks like she played on 4 different club teams in 5 years including 2 years with the Shockwave Volleyball Academy so Lambo no doubt has a pretty good idea what he is getting with Sophia.

        Defensively we are automatically solid on the back row with Jr. Giorgia Civita at the Libero. Hopefully, we can give her more help this year. Sr. Kara Bown showed some improvement during the latter part of last year as she gained experience and Lambo has loaded up this year's recruiting class with several defensive specialists. Also the status of Jenna Mak is kind of a wild card. Lambo felt like Jenna, who will be a sophomore, could have helped last year but she had to set out the year due to a head injury she sustained in high school that has been a challenge for the Doctors to get on top of. Her prognosis seems to be uncertain last I heard anything.

        Last year we were not a very good blocking team. Part of that I think was because Lambo designed our blocking schemes to try to funnel as many balls as possible to Giorgia. Whether or not that will remain to be the case next season is hard to say at this point.

        I'm thinking this next season will continue to be a rebuilding season and, hopefully, the following season will be the year the Shockers make a strong move back to the top of the AAC.



        McKayla is only undersized if she was running a 5-1, but as Lambo said publically they are planning to run a 6-2 so she will never be on the front row. Height is not required for a setter in a 6-2 system.

        Sophia is going to be fine. She's played really good competition in club. I can see her stepping in and hitting RS next year. Her power really improved from last year in club to this year .

        This team will be greatly improved next season. They had players redshirting that were better than players on the floor last year .
        Last edited by SuSHOCK; February 22nd, 2019, 05:59 PM.

        Comment


        • 1972Shocker
          1972Shocker commented
          Editing a comment
          That's a good point but Lambo was switching back and forth last year between a 6-2 and a 5-1 throughout the season. I think he really likes the 6-2 if he has the pieces but he won't hesitate to use the 5-1 if he thinks the team plays better in that system.
          Last edited by 1972Shocker; February 23rd, 2019, 11:42 AM.

      • #7
        RH: Volleyball Adds Setter, Versatile Freshman

        When McKayla Wuensch visited Wichita State, the volleyball coaches surprised her with their desire to dig into setting techniques and strategy. They sat down with her to watch video and offer critiques.

        https://goshockers.com/news/2019/2/1...-freshman.aspx

        Wolfpack Roster: https://nevadawolfpack.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2343

        Not saying your wrong but then your not my best source at this point.

        I think she is the 3rd Mikaela, Michaela, McKayla or Makayla we have had in the past 3 years. Mikaela Raudsepp, Michaela Putnicki (we hardly knew you) and McKayla or Makayla Wuensch. I suspect Ms. Wuensch is used to having both her 1st name and last name misspelled. And I'm sure I will screw it up again at some point in the future.

        Comment


        • #8
          Speaking of Mikaela Raudsepp, she's taking advantage of the 5 year clock and playing sand at GCU this spring. She is an amazing young woman.

          Comment


          • #9
            Good to have Mykayla Wuensch and Sophia Rohling enrolled this semester. That will help them get a nice head start on next year.

            Lambo has some very nice things to say about both of them, especially Rohling. Will she be his next small town Kansas hidden gem.

            https://goshockers.com/news/2019/2/1...n.aspx?path=vb
            Last edited by 1972Shocker; February 23rd, 2019, 04:09 AM.

            Comment


            • #10
              Lambo looking for a fresh start indeed.

              I was looking at the Shocker's 2019 roster that is now up on GoShockers.com and boy we have had more turnover than I can ever remember during Lambo's turnover.

              We only have 8 of the 22 members listed on last year's roster returning this year. We knew about graduates Kali Eaken, Alex Koon, Jordan Roberts and Meghan Grimes (the latter 3 graduating with a year of eligibity remaining) plus Grad transfer Tabitha Brown. Alex Jordan Roberts and Alex Koon. Abby Pugh transferred to San Diego State, Grace Burken is transferring to Iowa State and Chase Jackson also left the program. That accounts for 8 of 14 departures. Jenna Mak who did not play either of her 1st two years due to an injury is not back and it could be her career is done. Not sure about that. Seldom used Makenna Miller, Maddy Freund, Ashley Warehime and Alyana Maslinski also are not on the 2019 roster. However, the big surprise is that Regan Stialwalt is not on the 2019 roster. Regan did play this spring for the Shockers. Not sure if this is simply an error or if something has happened there??????

              The 8 returning players are Sr. Kara Bown, Jr. Giorgia Civita, Jr. Emma Wright, Jr. Brooke Smith, R-So. Megan Taflinger, R-So. Kora Kauling, R-Fr. Chinelo Ogogor and R-Fr. Brylee Kelly.

              In addition to these 8 returning players Lambo has the previously announced incoming class of 7 freshman (Skylar Goering, Kayce Litzau, Nicle Anderson, Arianna Arjomand, Sophis Rohling, Shea Lauria and Lily Liekweg) plus McKayla Wuensch, the transfer setter froum Nevada bringing his roster to 16 players.

              New adds, previously unknown to me, include Damadj Johnson, a 6-0 Sr.MB, who is transferring from Indiana State, Lexi Hogan, a 5-11 Jr. OH coming in froum Hutch Juco (a rarity for Lambo) and Sina Ulave, a 5-11 OH from Honolulu who had previously signed with Rider, to bring the roster to 19. Not overwhelming size in this group. Physically Sina reminds me of Tabitha.

              So the recently announced new schedule really is going to be a major challenge to this young team. We should be okay in the middle if Emma and Brooke can stay healthy and we should be okay at the L/DS position with Giorgia and Kara plus perhaps one of the freshman. If Regan truly is not coming back this fall then the Megan Taflinger is the only OH with any D-1 experience. Hard to say what the setter position will be like this year. Kora wasn't very good last year. Not sure what McKayla or Kayce will deliver. A lot of question marks heading into the fall.

              WuDrWu can you shed any light on the Regan Stiawalt situation?
              Last edited by 1972Shocker; June 19th, 2019, 06:34 PM.

              Comment


              • #11
                Afraid I got it confirmed Dr. Wu..... the DS/L position took a hit with Gio and another acl surgery, would guess a redshirt year for her.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by boyshocker View Post
                  Afraid I got it confirmed Dr. Wu..... the DS/L position took a hit with Gio and another acl surgery, would guess a redshirt year for her.
                  That would be a major, major blow to this Shocker team if true. When did this happen? Same knee as before (right knee I think) or the other knee?

                  Since this would have been Gio's 4th year she would only have 1 more year of eligibility remaining under the 5 year rule unless she can and wants to try to get a 6th year clock extension ala Grant Gibbs of Creighton. Not sure how Gio would feel about that but it is one way to get grad school paid for.

                  What do you hear about Regan Stiawalt?


                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Suspect it has been 5-6 weeks ago when the injury happened. Have no idea about Stiawalt, shaping up as possibly a long year. VB auction should be interesting.

                    Comment


                    • 1972Shocker
                      1972Shocker commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yep, if Gio is out for the seaosn and if Regan has left the team might as well take a look to the future approach to this year and focus on developing the youth and not worry too much about wins. I'm still hoping that Regan missing from the roster is just an oversight by whoever put that up. I guess we'll find out eventually.

                  • #14
                    In looking at Regan Stiawalt's twitter page I'm thinking that Regan's absence from the 2019 roster may have something to do with Alex Segal signing a pro contract with the Atlanta Braves organization. However, I have not been able to confirm that is the case. Could easily be something else totally.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Based on the photos in this tweet it looks like Gio's injury was to her right knee. I think that is the same knee she injured early in her freshman season.

                      https://twitter.com/LadyLionsVball/s...72987633782784

                      Definitely going to be an interesting season without Gio and with all the other turnover although in the longer run it may make us better. It will be interesting to see if Gio wants to and, if so, is able to get a 6th year. I am assuming she is out for this season assuming the normal 9-10 month period to return to action after an ACL surgery.

                      The Shocks will need a number of positive surprises in order to improve on last year's 14-18 (8-10 ACC) record especially with the schedule Lambo has lined up. I think this will be a year to focus on signs of improvement and growth. My guess is Lambo is looking forward to the challenge.




                      Comment


                      • WuDrWu
                        WuDrWu commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Was thinking the other day....there's a live auction item to travel with the team to Italy on a tour. Maybe that's some kind of deal to get her to stay one more year?

                      • 1972Shocker
                        1972Shocker commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That one should bring a pretty penny. Beyond my reach for sure although it would terrific fun. Looking forward to see what that one goes for. I would think it would draw at least 5 grand.
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