DeKalb, Ill. — It came a day later than expected, the but the Western Kentucky University volleyball team picked up a win in its season opener with a 3-0 sweep (30-19, 30-21, 30-19) over Western Illinois Saturday afternoon at the Northern Illinois Invitational.
Tournament play began today after Friday’s scheduled matches were cancelled due to flooding in the DeKalb area. Under the altered schedule, the Lady Toppers will face host Northern Illinois today at 7 p.m. (CDT), then close out the weekend event with a 10 a.m. match against Indiana on Sunday.
WKU (1-0) never trailed at any point in the opening game as it was able to jump out to a 10-3 lead early on. The Lady Toppers limited Western Illinois (0-1) to a -.029 hitting percentage in the opener as they saw the lead grow as high as 14 points when a block by Brittany Bowen and Megan Argabright made it 26-12. WKU — which recorded 12 kills in the opener — saw the Westerwinds close within nine before a Kelly Potts ace closed out an 11-point game-one win.
The Lady Toppers had their best offensive game of the match in the second contest as they recorded match highs in both kills (18) and hitting percentage (.378). The score remained close until freshman Hayley Koetter served five straight WKU points to give the Lady Toppers a 25-14 lead following one of her two service aces in the match. The WKU defense again held WIU in check — limiting the Westerwinds to just nine kills as the Lady Toppers took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 30-21 win.
WKU continued the strong offensive output in game three, scoring the first four points of the match and never looking back. The Lady Toppers would go on to hit .333 in the finale on their way to closing out the match with another 30-19 win.
The Lady Toppers finished the match with a .320 team hitting percentage — recording 45 kills. The defense limited WIU to just 25 kills and a .010 hitting percentage.
Argabright paced WKU with a match-high 11 kills, while Jenna Gideon added nine kills. The duo also hit over .400 in the match, with Gideon finishing a .462 and Argabright at .429. Kelly Hofmeyer led the Lady Topper defense with 11 digs, while Lindsey Gould added six digs to go along with a career-best six service aces. Setter Julia Noe finished with four kills, five digs and 35 assists.