Chasing around MVC volleyball

Wichita State middle Elizabeth Field spikes against Kansas in the 2012 NCAA Tournament victory over the Jayhawks.

Like in men’s basketball, Missouri Valley Conference volleyball went to Creighton during the regular season. Then Wichita State stole the spotlight with its NCAA success. Creighton’s departure hurts MVC volleyball, although it doesn’t leave the gaping hole as it does in men’s basketball.

Wichita State, Northern Iowa and Missouri State are more established programs with longer histories of success than Creighton, which made its first NCAA appearance in 2010 and won its first MVC title in 2012. Southern Illinois appears to be on a fast track. While schools need to step up to replace Creighton, that possibility is not a near-impossibility as it appears in men’s hoops.

Valley volleyball hit a high last season in the NCAAs. WSU defeated Arkansas and Kansas before losing to Southern Cal in the Sweet 16. UNI swept Kansas State before losing to Nebraska. Creighton swept Marquette before losing to Minnesota.

Wichita State’s preview starts with middles Elizabeth Field and Ashley Andrade, seniors last seen denting the floor at Allen Fieldhouse.

A look around the MVC as the season begins:

All MVC schools open this weekend in tournament play.