Bowling Green, Ky. — The WKU volleyball team (12-3, 1-0 SBC) opened up the 2008 conference season in the best way possible defeating the number 23 ranked team, Middle Tennessee 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-16) for the first win over a ranked team in school history. The Lady Toppers, who were coming off a loss to Albany, made a big statement in their quest for a Sun Belt Championship and a second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance by taking down the rival Blue Raiders and overcoming a huge battle in the conference season.
"We are definitely excited to get this win tonight," head coach Travis Hudson said. "This team wants to do something that no other team at WKU has ever done before and I think this win over a ranked team is a big step for us in what we want to accomplish this season."
In the first set, the Lady Toppers struggled early falling behind and never recovering after eight errors and a .103 hitting percentage.
After staying tied through three points, the Blue Raiders went on a five point run, gaining the lead at 8-3 and they never looked back.
But, after a sluggish first set, the Lady Toppers didn't falter again outscoring the Blue Raiders 75-60 in the next three sets to secure their first win over a ranked team this season.
In set two, the Lady Toppers responded to Middle Tennessee's powerful offense starting off strong and going on an eight point run of their own off impressive performances by seniors Megan Argabright and Julia Noe and junior Abbie Siljendahl. Following two points by the Blue Raiders to make it 9-19, the Lady Toppers ended things easily holding the Blue Raiders to a .214 hitting percentage in the set after only 13 kills and seven errors.
Sets three and four also belonged to the Blue Raiders as they totaled 23 kills and only seven errors in the two sets. The toughest contest for the Lady Toppers was in the third set. After a tight contest early, the Lady Toppers heated things up after kill by Argabright that gave the Lady Toppers the lead at 13-12. From there WKU blew past the Blue Raiders and secured the victory off a kill by freshman Tiffany Elmore.
In the fourth set, the Lady Toppers were unstoppable posting a .526 hitting percentage, the best of the night, and posting 12 kills. Overall, the Lady Toppers posted 47 kills, a .229 hitting percentage, 44 assists, four aces, 25 digs and 14 total blocks. Middle Tennessee finished the night with 44 kills, a .227 hitting percentage, 40 assists, three aces, 31 digs and 14 blocks.
Leading the way for the Lady Toppers was Argabright who posted 12 kills, a .417 hitting percentage, and three blocks. Additionally, junior Brittany Bowen posted eight kills, three blocks and a .222 hitting percentage. Defensively, for WKU sophomore Emily Teegarden and senior Kelly Hofmeyer finished with five digs a piece.
After enjoying this win, the Lady Toppers will return to action on Friday, Oct. 3 when they host Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. Live stats and free webstreaming of the contest will be available at www.wkusports.com.