BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-In front of a season-high 2,894 fans, the No. 20 Western Kentucky University volleyball team (21-3, 7-0 SBC) grabbed its eighth-straight sweep with a 3-0 win (25-14, 25-19, 25-16) over FIU (5-14, 2-5 SBC) on Friday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Lady Toppers have yet to lose a set in conference play, as the team has won 21-straight sets over Sun Belt opponents.
Freshman Haley Bodway led the team with eight kills, as sophomore Heather Boyan followed with seven. Senior Jordyn Skinner and redshirt junior Paige Wessel tabbed six each while freshman Noelle Langenkamp hit .833 on the night with five kills on six attempts with no errors to help the team to a .232 hitting mark.
Skinner also tallied four service aces, as the team totaled six in the contest. Junior Melanie Stutsman passed out 31 assists while junior Ashley Potts helped get the offense going with 12 digs.
For FIU, Marija Prsa notched 12 kills while Kimberly Smith added seven. Defensively, Carolyn Fouts posted 17 digs while Silvia Carli had a game-high four blocks with Ryanne Milligan and Brittany Spencer following with three each.
After FIU took the first point of the match, WKU quickly gained a 5-1 lead with points off kills from Bodway and Stutsman plus an ace from senior Sarah Rogers. After a Panther break, WKU rolled out to a 17-11 lead to force FIU's second timeout of the set. With a kill and block from Skinner and a pair of kills from Wessel, the Lady Toppers would go to take the set 25-14.
Hitting a game-high .324 as a team off a perfect 5-for-5 effort from Langenkamp, WKU took a 2-0 lead after sealing the second frame 25-19. Ahead 4-3, WKU rattled off six-straight points with help from two kills by Bodway and block assist by Boyan and Wessel to pull ahead 10-3. The Lady Toppers cruised to a 22-12 lead before a 6-1 run by FIU cut its deficit to 23-19; however, back-to-back kills by Langenkamp gave WKU the last two points it needed.
Six-consecutive points in the beginning of the third set help WKU to an early 9-4 advantage over FIU. The Panthers would get it within two at 11-9, but a 6-1 run in favor of the Lady Toppers extended the lead to 17-10. WKU carried the advantage throughout the rest of the set, as the team scored the last four points to win the contest 25-16.
The team returns to action Saturday, October 13 at 2 p.m. against FAU in E.A. Diddle Arena.