Photo: Jordan Eggleston
The Bulldogs saw their 2012 campaign come to a halt on Saturday as Wichita State swept Drake 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21) in Wichita, Kan.
Drake finishes 2012 with a 4-14 record against Missouri Valley Conference foes en route to a 5-24 overall ledger, ranking eighth in the conference.
Despite a disappointing finish, head coach Tony Sunga praised the young Bulldogs’ strides.
“We are ready to move forward, and I know we are ready to make some more big steps in the spring,” Sunga said in a Drake athletics press release. “We gained some valuable experience this year and we will get stronger, faster and that much older. We learned a lot, gained more confidence, which you need in a tough conference like ours, but there is no fear now. I’m excited for the future with this team.”
Though Drake bid two seniors farewell on Saturday, the Bulldogs return 10 players in 2013.
Seniors Bentley Mancini and Jadranka Tramosljanin concluded their Drake careers on Saturday. Tramosljanin recorded five kills and six digs against the Shockers. Mancini has been out with a torn ACL the last two weeks.
Freshmen middle blockers Cassie Effken and Katie Dulek paced Drake’s offensive attack on Saturday as each tallied eight kills.
“Our middles stepped up and opened up things on the outside for our hitters,” Sunga said.
The Shockers held Drake to just .200 hitting.
Drake dropped a 3-1 decision (25-11, 22-25, 25-19, 25-16) against Missouri State on Friday in Springfield, Mo.
Sophomore outside hitter Erin Roggenburg registered a career-high 12 kills to lead the Bulldogs.
Missouri State finished in sixth place in the MVC, two spots ahead of Drake.