BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University volleyball team (16-4, 6-0) kept its unblemished Sun Belt Conference record intact after career highs from a trio of Lady Toppers lifted WKU over ULM (5-17, 1-5) by score of 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 26-28, 25-11) on Friday night in the team’s annual “Dig 4 Pink” match.
Senior Ashley Potts recorded 30 digs for a new career best, the first time since 2007 that a Lady Topper posted 30 or more digs in a match. Fellow classmate Melanie Stutsman passed out 60 assists for a new career mark while sophomore Haley Bodway had new career highs with 21 kills and a .645 hitting mark.
WKU middle blockers Noelle Langenkamp and Heather Boyan added double-digit kill efforts with 14 and 10, respectively. Langenkamp also posted four blocks. Junior Mollie Pajakowski tallied 10 digs, as WKU led the category 65-45 over the Warhawks.
For ULM, Hadley Swartz led the team with 12 kills followed by Hope Pawlik with 11. Marcela Araya had 11 digs with a pair of Warhwaks adding nine each in Pawlik and Kayla Kane.
A block from Langenkamp and redshirt senior Paige Wessel followed by back-to-back kills by Bodway and Stutsman gave WKU a 10-4 advantage in the first set. ULM got within five at 11-6, but that marked as close as the Warhawks would get. With 16 team kills in the set, WKU cruised to a 25-18 win.
It was ULM who got the early lead in the second frame, going up 9-6 to force a WKU timeout. Down 14-11, Pajakowski came to the service line to help WKU notch 12-straight points before going on to close out the set with a 15-1 run and 25-15 win. During the spree, WKU had nine kills, including four from Langenkamp. For the set, WKU held ULM to just five kills, as the team had 26 digs led by Potts’ 12.
WKU dropped its first set in conference action this season in the third, as ULM took a 28-26 win. It snapped a streak of 40-consecutive sets won over a SBC opponent and 24-straight sets won by WKU this season overall. The Warhawks edged WKU in every statistical category in the set to take the win.
After the dropped set, WKU dominated the fourth to seal the match win. WKU’s first eight points of the set came in kills, as the team went ahead 8-4 before a ULM break. The Lady Topper offensive kept clicking, as they closed the set with a .640 hitting percentage while holding ULM to just seven kills compared to its 18. Closing the set with six-straight points, WKU won the final set 25-11.
WKU hits the road for its final match of the weekend, as the team faces Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday, October 13 at noon.