Bowling Green, Ky. - No. 6 seed WKU secured a meeting with No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament after sweeping No. 3 seed Denver (25-19, 25-9, 25-18) to improve to 24-9 this season. With the loss, Denver was eliminated from the tournament and finishes the season with a record of 25-7.
In the first set, WKU trailed most of the way but finally overcame the Pioneers with the score tied at 12. After a block by juniors Abbie Siljendahl and Brittany Bowen, the Lady Toppers took the lead and extended it to two before Denver retied the set up at 15. After two kills by the Pioneers and an error by WKU, the Lady Toppers, once again, found themselves down in the set. But, WKU refused to go down without a fight and tied the set again at 18 after a kill by senior Megan Argabright. From there, the Lady Toppers outscored Denver 7-1 to win the set.
In the opening set, the Lady Toppers hit .412 while posting 16 kills and committing only two errors. Argabright led the way for WKU recording six kills in the set and finishing with a .625 hitting percentage.
WKU scored first in set two but the Pioneers and the Lady Toppers battled the until the very end. With neither team being able to gain a significant lead throughout 12 points, WKU finally pulled ahead by three after two kills by sophomore Emily Teegarden and another kill by Argabright. WKU was then able to hold on to the momentum and easily put Denver away to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Lady Toppers were even more efficient on offense in the second set hitting .429 after picking up 14 kills.
In the final set of the night, WKU, fell behind early before taking the lead from Denver after the Lady Toppers tied the set up at 11. From there, WKU scored four consecutive points to take a 15-11 lead and would never let Denver get close enough to get back into the match.
The Lady Toppers racked up 42 kills in the match while finishing with a hitting percentage of .389 after only committing five errors the entire night. They also posted 39 assists, five aces, 42 digs and seven blocks. Denver finished the night with 38 kills, 16 errors, a .204 hitting percentage, 34 assists, 43 digs and one block.
In the match, Argabright led the way for WKU posting 14 kills and only one error for an overall hitting percentage of .591. Siljendahl and Bowen each added eight kills a piece. Defensively, senior Kelly Hofmeyer recorded 16 digs on the night.
WKU will face off against Middle Tennessee tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. CST. During the regular season, WKU and Middle Tennessee both won one match with WKU defeating the Blue Raiders in Bowling Green and Middle Tennessee beating the Lady Toppers in Murfreesboro. The winner of tomorrow night’s match will take on the winner of the Florida International vs. New Orleans match for the championship title on Saturday at 2 p.m.