BOWLING GREEN, Ky.—With a sweep (25-18, 25-17, 25-15) of UALR (20-8, 12-4) on Sunday, the Western Kentucky University volleyball team (24-5, 14-1) clinched the No. 1 seed of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, taking place later this month at Troy, and at least a share of the regular-season title.
With a win on Wednesday against Georgia State in Diddle Arena at 6 p.m., the Lady Toppers will grab the championship outright from UALR.
WKU has been the one seed in the SBC Tournament the past two years on its way to winning the tournament title. The Lady Toppers are looking to become the first team in SBC history to win the regular season and tournament title three years in a row.
In Sunday’s contest, sophomore Haley Bodway notched 12 kills while fellow classmate Noelle Langenkamp laid down 11 kills. The duo also posted a .500 hitting percentage. Senior Melanie Stutsman passed out 39 assists, as WKU recorded 44 kills and hit .395. The Lady Toppers totaled seven service aces in the match, led by freshman Kaelin Grimes with three.
Senior Ashley Potts added a match-high 12 digs in the win while at the net Langenkamp had three blocks while four other Lady Toppers had two each.
For UALR, Edina Begic led with 13 kills followed by Sonja Milanovic with 11. Milanovic tallied nine digs in the back row while Adisa Hodzic had three blocks.
The teams went back-and-forth in the first set, as 10 tied scores and five lead changes took place. Down one at 14-13, WKU rattled off five-straight points that was sparked by a kill and block from senior Janee’ Diggins to pull ahead 18-14. WKU went up as much as seven at 22-15 while finishing the set at 25-18.
Four blocks by WKU in second frame lifted the home team to a 25-17 win. Junior Heather Boyan, Langenkamp and Stutsman had two blocks each in the set. Boyan and Stutsman had back-to-back block assists to put WKU up 21-14 and force UALR to call a break. With kills from Diggins, Boyan and Wessel, WKU closed out the set for a 2-0 advantage.
WKU was aggressive out of the break, quickly going up 12-5 over the Trojans in the third set. WKU led by as much as 10 in the frame the rest of the way. Bodway notched six kills in the set, as WKU hit .462 en route to a 25-15 win.
The Lady Toppers have three more home games until the team travels to Troy, Ala., for the SBC Tournament Nov. 21-23.
For more information on WKU volleyball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the team on Twitter via @TravisHudsonWKU and @WKUVolleyball.