Offense Powers No. 21 WKU Past Cincinnati

By: Whitney Tarpy, WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Whitney Tarpy, WKU Athletic Media Relations

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Recording a .459 team hitting percentage, the No. 21 Western Kentucky University volleyball team (5-3) used its offensive powers to cruise past Cincinnati (0-7) in a three-set sweep (25-15, 25-10, 25-14) on Tuesday night in E.A. Diddle Arena.

"I thought we did much better tonight," WKU head coach Travis Hudsonsaid. "Hopefully that is something we continue to do. I thought our first contact was better. I thought we served better. In serve receive, I thought we handled it better. We have a lot of weapons offensively, and when we can get everybody involved like we did tonight, I think we will be good."

Sophomore Noelle Langenkamp led the charge with a match-high 11 kills while hitting .556. The Cincinnati native held her place on the defensive side of the ball as well, posting four blocks in the match. Redshirt senior Paige Wesselalso played strong for both sides, as she had seven kills with a .600 hitting percentage and five blocks.

Senior Melanie Stutsman passed out 37 assists to go along with a pair of aces while freshman Georgia O'Connelltabbed the only double-digit dig performance with 10.

As a team, WKU tabbed 42 kills with only eight attack errors while bringing a wall at the net with 11 team blocks to Cincinnati's four. It is also the second time this season that WKU held an opponent to a negative hitting percentage, as Cincinnati hit -.049 for the match.

For the Bearcats, Morgan Allred had four kills while Breanna Barksdale and Me'Ashah Nicholson had two blocks each.

The WKU defense got almost half of the team's total blocks in the first set, recording five on its way to a 25-15 win. A block from sophomore Haley Bodwayput the Lady Toppers ahead 6-2 before Cincinnati called a break with WKU up 11-5. The home team cruised out of the timeout, not letting the Bearcats string two points together, as Langenkamp's fifth kill of the set sealed the frame win.

Behind the service effort of Stutsman, WKU jumped ahead 9-0 to start the second set. Using 10 digs, WKU held Cincinnati to just four kills in the set, as the Lady Toppers cruised to a 25-10 win heading into the break.

A tight contest early, a 3-2 set in favor of WKU became a 13-7 advantage for the Lady Toppers after a kill from senior Lindsay Spears. Stutsman's 12 assists in the set wasn't the only thing that boosted WKU, but her three blocks came as pivotal plays, as WKU cruised to a 25-14 win to take the match.

The Lady Toppers round out their four-game home stand with the WKU Invitational on Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14 at Diddle Arena. WKU will face Virginia Friday night at 7 p.m. before taking on Ohio at 11 a.m. and UNLV at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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