Lincoln, Neb. — The Western Kentucky University volleyball team dropped a three-game match (21-30, 19-30, 25-30) to Wichita State Friday in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament at the NU Colliseum.
The Lady Toppers end the 2007 campaign with a 27-9 record, while the Shockers improve to 26-6 on the year and will face the winner of Nebraska and South Dakota State Saturday at 5:00pm (CST).
Megan Argabright led WKU as the only player with double-digit kills – recording 11 – while WSU's Emily Stockton led all players with 16. Kelly Hofmeyer tied for match-high honors in digs with 16, while Julia Noe managed five aces.
In all three games, the Lady Toppers found themselves down early. In game one, the Shockers jumped out to an early 4-1 lead off an ace from Stockman and never let WKU to within a point the rest of the game. Although battling back to within two points on five different occasions, WKU was only able to string together three-straight points twice in the game. Trailing 21-14 in game one, a kill by Argabright, followed by a pair of Noe service aces brought the Lady Toppers to within four, but the team was unable to cut the lead any further and fell in game one 21-30.
The Shockers jumped out to a 12-4 lead in game two and held a double-digit lead throughout much of the game, taking a 2-0 lead in the match, 30-19.
The two teams traded points early in game three before the Shockers went on an 8-2 run to take the lead 14-8 midway through. From there, the Lady Toppers battled back to tie the game at 19 with a service ace by Lindsey Gould. The teams continued to trade points and were tied again at 22 after a kill by Aquila Orr before a pair of errors by the Lady Toppers helped WSU to a 25-22 advantage. WKU was unable to pull to within two for the remainder of the game and fell 25-30 in the third and final game.
Miscues hampered the Lady Toppers throughout the match, as the team recorded a total of 42 errors, including 12 service errors and 16 attack errors.
The Lady Toppers finish the season 27-9, and will say good-bye to only one senior from this year's roster in Jenna Gideon. She ends her career on the Hill as one of the most accurate attackers in school history, ranking on WKU's top-ten list in kills per game and hitting percentage.