WKU Opens 2013 Season with Sweep of Alabama A&M

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

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 21 Western Kentucky University volleyball team (1-0) used a dominating offensive performance to record the first win of the 2013 season after defeating Alabama A&M (0-1) in straight sets (25-13, 25-11, 25-15) on Friday afternoon at the Mortar Board Premier.

As a team, the Lady Toppers hit .472 with 43 kills and just nine attack errors. Senior Lindsay Spears and sophomore Haley Bodway led the charge with seven kills each while seniors Melanie Stutsman and Paige Wessel and sophomore Rachel Engle had six each. Stutsman also added 31 assists in the contest.

Defensively, senior Ashley Potts posted 11 digs followed by junior Mollie Pajakowski with four. At the net, Boyan, Wessel and sophomore Noelle Langenkamp had two blocks each.

Kyanna Sales led the attack for the Bulldogs with six kills, as Alabama A&M finished with 21 kills and .078 hitting percentage. Ashundria McNeal led all players with four blocks.

After Alabama A&M tabbed the first two points of the first set, WKU put up seven-straight to force a Bulldog timeout. Leading 15-10 and behind the serving efforts of freshman Georgia O'Connell, who had three service aces in the match, WKU went on an 8-0 scoring spree to pull ahead 23-10 en route to a 25-13 set win.

Hitting a match-high .571 attack percentage, WKU cruised to a 25-11 second-set victory. The teams stayed close early before kills from Engle and Wessel and an ace from Stutsman boosted WKU to a 13-7 advantage. Wessel along with Spears and Bodway tallied four kills in the frame to help WKU total 17 kills with only one attack error. Freshman Kaelin Grimes sealed the win after knocking down her first kill of the season.

A pair of Spears aces darted the Lady Toppers to a 5-2 lead in the third set. Alabama A&M got within three at 11-8, but it would be as close as the Bulldogs would get. The next point, Engle sparked the Lady Toppers with a kill to help open the game, as her set-high five kills helped WKU break away and win the final set with a 25-15 victory.

WKU continues play at the Mortar Board Premier on Saturday, August 31 when the team faces No. 4 USC at 11 a.m. CT prior to matching up with host and No. 16 Purdue at 4 p.m. CT.

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