CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-After getting down a set early, the Western Kentucky University volleyball team (3-2) rallied back to win the next three sets and take a 3-1 win (22-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-16) over host-team Virginia (1-3) at the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup Friday night.
Senior Jordyn Skinner posted a game-high 12 kills on the night while sophomore Heather Boyan and redshirt junior Paige Wessel had nine each and hit .471 and .500, respectively, for the night. Junior Melanie Stutsman hit at a .500 clip and no errors along with 37 assists while junior Ashley Potts collected 22 digs.
The Lady Toppers' net defense energized the night with a total of 15 blocks, the most of the season and a number the team has only reached four times since 2004. Leading the effort was Boyan with 12 blocks, which ties for the second-most in a single game in WKU history.
For Virginia, Kayla Sears had 11 kills followed by Tori Janowski with 10. Janowski along with Rachel Gray had 19 assists each while Emily Rottman posted 17 digs.
With the first set tied at 2, WKU jumped ahead 5-2 after a Wessel kill and block assist from Boyan and Diggins. The Cavaliers tied it up again before grabbing a lead of their own at 10-6 using three kills and an ace. The Lady Toppers worked their way back to tie the score four more times before UVA secured the advantage and took the first set 25-22.
Out of the gates of the second set, WKU took control, ending the frame with a .348 hitting percentage. Starting the match with a 4-1 lead, the Lady Toppers offense kept clicking, getting as a big of a lead as 11. Boyan led the team on both sides of the ball, as she collected four kills and three blocks to help WKU to a 25-15 set win.
The teams traded points to begin the third set before a freshman Haley Bodway kill put WKU ahead 6-4. The team kept hold of its lead throughout the set, and at one point gained an advantage of 19-10. After putting down 18 kills and four blocks in the set, The Lady Toppers sealed the third set 25-14.
Carrying the momentum from past set's win, WKU made its presence at the net early in the fourth set, as three blocks that included Wessel, Spears and Boyan gave WKU a 7-2 lead. The Cavaliers closed the gap at 14-12 WKU to force a Lady Topper timeout; however, WKU finished the set by outscoring Virginia 11-4 to win the final frame 25-16.
The tournament continues on Saturday for WKU, as the Lady Toppers face Delaware at 10 a.m. CT and Lehigh later in the afternoon at 4 p.m. CT.