The Knapp Center will feature a doubleheader this weekend as the Drake volleyball team opens conference play with its first home games of the season against Wichita State and Missouri State. The Bulldogs (0-9) will take on Wichita State (6-3) on Friday at 7 p.m. The first 100 fans at the door will receive a free T-shirt.
Senior Bentley Mancini registered 75 kills to lead the team in the first nine matches and is ready to start conference play.
“We are really young this year so we started out slow, but we have gotten better and improved every single match,” Mancini said. “I am looking forward to this weekend. It’s a whole new beginning for us.”
Leadership and match-to-match improvement are the focus for the upperclassmen who are trying to mentor the program’s six freshmen.
“I’m really just trying to push these new players as hard as I can to set them up for success,” Mancini said. “I hope to have a good senior season, but my main goal is to set them up for success.”
Wichita State is the next step for a rebuilding team that is looking for better results than the two straight sets losses the Shockers dealt the Bulldogs last season.
For freshman Katie Dulek, her previous season was capped off by her fourth straight class 4-A Kansas state championship. Now on a winless team, Dulek is prepared for her first taste of Missouri Valley Conference action.
“I am really excited, and I know I need to take every practice and be as competitive as possible,” Dulek said. “Because you do want to do well and represent your school.”