Bowling Green, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University volleyball team got back in the win column with a 3-0 victory (30-15, 30-21, 30-26) Friday night against Arkansas State, and at the same time remained unbeaten in the Sun Belt Conference during the 2007 season.
The win was the eighth in the last nine matches for the Lady Toppers as they improved to 16-4 overall and 5-0 in the conference. ASU fell to 6-12 and 2-4 in the league.
The Lady Toppers led wire-to-wire in the first two games, and put together their best performance in the opener as they committed just one attack error and hit .536 as a team. After jumping out with the first five points of game one, WKU got an ace from Julia Noe to open up an 8-1 advantage. The Lady Toppers pulled out to their first double-digit lead of the game when a Lady Indian attack error made it 21-11, and Kelly Hofmeyer would serve four straight points to stretch the lead to 27-13 late in the contest as WKU cruised to the 30-15 victory.
The Lady Toppers posted a match-high 17 kills in game two as they again led the entire way. Defensively, WKU picked up four of their eight blocks on the night in the second game, holding ASU to a -.077 hitting percentage. After jumping out to an early 6-2 lead, the Lady Toppers saw Arkansas State battle back within a point when a kill form Katie Peil made it 9-8. WKU was able to fend off the rally and pull back out to a 14-10 lead on an Abbie Siljendahl kill, but the Lady Indians pulled within one again at 15-14. The Lady Toppers led by just two at 19-17 following a Robin Aaron kill, but a spike by Jenna Gideon got WKU back on track as it closed the game on a 10-4 run to go into the locker room with a two-game lead following a 30-21 victory.
Arkansas State scored two of the first three points in game three to take its first lead at any point in the match, and was able to open up a 12-8 lead following a WKU attack error. The Lady Toppers battled back to tie the game at 14-14 thanks to back-to-back kills from Gideon, but did not regain the lead until a block from Aquila Orr and another Gideon kill made it a 17-15 score. After an ASU block cut the WKU lead to 21-19, a kill from Megan Argabright sparked a 5-0 spurt as the Lady Toppers opened up a 25-19 lead. WKU got to game point at 29-22, but the Lady Indians scored four straight before a service error brought an end to the contest.
Offensively, Argabright paced the Lady Toppers with a match-high 14 kills, with Gideon adding 10. Orr added nine kills and a match-best .600 hitting percentage. Mafo Joelle and Mandy DeWalt paced ASU with seven kills each.
WKU will have a quick turnaround as it closes out its weekend homestand at 2 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday as it hosts UALR.