Lafayette, La. — The Western Kentucky University volleyball team limited Louisiana-Lafayette to a .082 hitting percentage as they won their sixth straight match with a 3-0 sweep (30-28, 30-25, 30-27) over the Ragin’ Cajuns Friday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.
The win moved the Lady Toppers to 21-4 and 10-0 in the Sun Belt Conference, while ULL fell to 3-23 and 2-9 in the league. WKU continues its three-match weekend roadswing on Saturday when it visits New Orleans for a 5 p.m. (CDT) match.
Megan Argabright and Aquila Orr each posted a match-high 13 kills to lead the Lady Topper offense. Julia Noe finished with a match-best 39 assists and 12 digs.
Monica Deschaine led the Ragin' Cajuns with seven kills, while Erika Castro and Carly Payan each recorded a team-best nine digs.
Despite hitting just .051 in the opening game, WKU lead most of the way and opened up an 18-12 lead following a kill from Brittany Bowen. However, the Cajuns got a kill from Payan to start a 6-2 run that pulled them within two at 20-18. Again the Lady Toppers used a run to extend their lead, opening up a 26-20 advantage after a ULL attack error. Leading 28-24 after a kill from Noe, WKU saw Louisiana-Lafayette score three straight to make it a one-point game. A kill from Hayley Koetter got the Lady Toppers to game point, but Caroline Dufrene put down a kill to again get ULL within one. Noe was able to finish the game with a kill on the next point as WKU pulled out a two-point win in the opener.
The Lady Toppers were able to hold ULL to a team hitting percentage under .100 in each of the final two games, but still were unable to pull away in either contest. WKU was again able to jump out to an early lead in the second game, taking a 15-10 lead after a kill from Orr. The Lady Toppers were able to stretch the lead as high as eight when a kill by Argabright made it 23-15, but the Ragin' Cajuns battled back to get as close as two when a block from Tracie Knowlton and Lindsay Brown made it 25-23. After trading points, WKU’s lead stood at 27-25 following an attack error, but Orr, Noe and Jenna Gideon put down three consecutive kills to give the Lady Toppers a 30-25 win.
Game three saw 10 ties and five early lead changes, with the Ragin’ Cajuns taking a late lead when a Castro service ace made it 23-21. A kill from Argabright and a ULL attack error pulled the Lady Toppers even, but WKU was unable to pull in front until a kill from Bowen made it 25-24 and forced the Cajuns into a timeout. After the break, the Lady Toppers scored two straight to open up a 27-24 lead, then got to match point when an attack error by ULL made it 29-25. The Cajuns held off defeat with two straight points, but Gideon put down a kill for the final point of the night.
The win gave the Lady Toppers double-figure conference victories for the eighth straight season. Prior to WKU’s current run, no Sun Belt school had ever gone more than five straight years with 10 or more league wins.