BOWLING GREEN, Ky.—The No. 17 Western Kentucky University volleyball team (31-3, 15-0 SBC) solidified its spot in the Sun Belt Conference Championship match for the third-straight year after taking a three-set sweep (25-19, 25-11, 25-15) over Arkansas State (19-14, 8-6 SBC) Friday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Senior Jordyn Skinner and sophomore Heather Boyan led the team with 10 kills each, as Boyan notched a team-high .562 hitting percentage. Freshman Haley Bodway added eight kills while freshman Noelle Langenkamp and junior Melanie Stutsman had seven each.
Junior Ashley Potts posted her 32nd double-digit digs match after collecting 20 in the contest while three other Lady Toppers tallied seven digs.
For Arkansas State, Marie Hadar led the team with eight kills followed by Kelsey Sullivan’s seven. Megan Baska had 14 digs while Allison Kearney dished out 26 assists.
Tied at 10 in the first set, WKU went on a 5-1 run to take a 15-11 lead after a service ace by Skinner. Still ahead 17-15, the Lady Toppers used back-to-back service aces from senior Sarah Rogers to extend their lead back up to 21-15. WKU then ended the frame at 25-19 on a block assist by Langenkamp and redshirt junior Paige Wessel.
WKU broke an early tie at 3 in set two with an 8-1 run to go up 11-4 after kills by Boyan. Later leading 12-6, the Lady Toppers took three in a row to go up 15-6 on a big kill by Skinner. With an 18-10 advantage, WKU went on a 5-0 run to solidify its lead at 23-10. Stutsman finished the set for the Lady Toppers 25-11 with a kill.
With the score even at 7 in the third frame, WKU used a pair of kills from both Skinner and Langenkamp to go on a 5-1 run and jump ahead 12-8. Still on top 15-11, the Lady Toppers used a 7-1 dash to extend their lead up to 22-12. WKU went on to win the set 25-15.
WKU will be back in action at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 and will take on third-seeded North Texas in a nationally-televised championship match on ESPN3. The winner will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.