BOWLING GREEN, Ky.—The No. 24 Western Kentucky University volleyball team (15-3, 1-0) earned its first Sun Belt Conference win of the 2012 season with a three-set sweep (25-11, 25-20, 25-12) over Troy (9-7, 0-1) Friday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
“We are just trying to make this the beginning of the second season for us,” WKU head coach Travis Hudson said. “We did really well in our non-conference schedule, but that means nothing because everybody is 0-0 in conference play. I thought we came out extremely sharp in game one and played really well to set the tone of the match.”
Senior Jordyn Skinner led the Lady Toppers with 10 kills followed by redshirt junior Paige Wessel’s eight. Junior Melanie Stutsman added 27 assists and six kills, as Stutsman and Wessel hit .500 for the contest.
Defensively, junior Ashley Potts anchored the back row with 12 digs while the net defense totaled eight blocks behind sophomore Heather Boyan and Stutsman’s three blocks each.
For Troy, Breanna Cullity put up a game-high 12 kills while Devin Von Pingel added seven. Alexandra Alexander passed out 24 assists and Courtney Cohen posted 10 digs.
WKU opened the match with a 5-0 lead off of kills from Skinner, Wessel and freshman Haley Bodway. Ahead 10-3 at a Troy timeout, WKU stayed ahead using a 9-5 scoring spree to take a 19-8 advantage at another Trojan break. Using a .538 set hitting percentage, WKU took the first set 25-11.
The contest stayed tight early in the second frame, as the teams tied three times before WKU took a five-point lead with a Boyan kill out of a Troy break at 12-7. The Lady Toppers continued to extend its lead, grabbing a 20-13 point advantage on its way to a 25-20 win at the break.
Outblocking the Trojans 4-0 in the final set, WKU took a 25-12 win to seal the victory. Two kills from Stutsman helped push WKU to a 9-4 lead to force a Troy timeout. The Lady Toppers kept the pressure on Troy, forcing 10 attack errors in the set. Getting ahead as much as 12 points at 23-11 after a 7-0 run, a block from junior Lindsay Spears ended the match in WKU’s favor.
The Lady Toppers are back in action on Saturday, September 22 at 1 p.m. to take on South Alabama in E.A. Diddle Arena.