Bowling Green, Ky. — For the second time in as many weekend, the Western Kentucky University volleyball team has won an invitational tournament as it captured the 2007 Lady Topper Invitational championship following a three-game sweep (30-23, 30-28, 30-22) of Marshall Saturday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Junior middle hitter Megan Argabright was named the tournament Most Valuable Player, and was joined by senior Jenna Gideon on the all-tournament team.
Argabright posted double-digit kills in all three matches — finishing with 10 against the Herd. However, it was outside hitters Whitney McCory and Brittany Bowen that led the Lady Topper offense with 11 kills each.
“Marshall did a good job tonight blocking the middle and daring us to win the match somewhere else,” said Lady Topper head coach Travis Hudson. “Whitney and Brittany really stepped up to that challenge, and showed the improvements they’ve made in the past year.”
Game two was the turning point as neither club led by more than three points. The Herd was able to jump out to an early 8-5 lead after an Elizabeth Fleming kill made it 8-5. The game was tied 12 times, but the Lady Toppers never trailed after taking a 20-19 lead following a Marshall ball-handling error. Still, WKU was unable to pull away until back-to-back points gave it a 28-25 lead late. A kill from Megan Argabright got the Lady Toppers to game point at 29-26, but Marshall scored two straight to stay alive. Whitney McCory was able to put down a kill on the next play, however, to close out the game and give WKU a 30-28 victory and a two-game lead in the match.
That victory came on the heels of a 30-23 win in the opening contest in which WKU was able to get some separation with a four-point run opened up a 15-9 lead following an Argabright kill. After a timeout, Marshall was able to trade points with WKU, and was eventually able to get within four when a Stephanie Cahill kill made it 24-20. The Lady Toppers were able to hold off the Herd the rest of the way, with Argabright recording an ace for the final point to give WKU a 30-23 win in the opener.
After the close game-two victory, the Lady Toppers used a four-point run midway through game three to open up a 15-10 lead. Cahill responded for Marshall as she served three straight points after a Emily Sullivan kill to get the Herd back within one, but WKU was able to pull back out to a four-point lead when an ace from Hayley Koetter made it a 20-16 game. The Lady Toppers held Marshall to a match-low .129 hitting percentage in the finale, pulling away late to close out the match with the 30-22 victory.
“Marshall really tired to come out and impose themselves on us tonight with their emotion and aggressiveness,” said Hudson. “The thing I’m most proud of this team about is how they showed maturity and poise in that situation.”
The Lady Toppers head back on the road next weekend (Sept. 7-8) as they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to take part in the UNC Volleyball Classic. WKU will face off with Villanova, American and the host Tar Heels over the two-day event.