BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Using an all-around team effort on both sides of the ball, the Western Kentucky University volleyball team (10-3) took a 3-0 victory (25-20, 25-20, 25-11) Tuesday night over Lipscomb (3-8) at E.A. Diddle Arena.
"Lipscomb runs such a fast system that we did a good job of keeping pressure on them and not allowing them to be in the flow of their offense," WKU head coach Travis Hudson said. "It is really important because if they control the tempo, you are in for a long night because they are very well-coached, so we knew that it was a critical part of the match."
The Lady Toppers outmatched Lipscomb in practically every category statistically. WKU ended the night hitting .341 with 42 kills, as the team was led by junior Melanie Stutsman's .538 hitting percentage and senior Jordyn Skinner's nine kills. Sophomore Heather Boyan and freshman Haley Bodway each nabbed six kills while hitting over a .400 clip.
Defensively, the Lady Toppers stepped up with 13 total blocks and 43 digs to hold the Lady Bison to a .074 hitting mark. Junior Ashley Potts posted 15 digs while senior Sarah Rogers followed with seven. At the net, Bodway led the charge with four blocks, including three solo blocks, while Boyan, redshirt junior Paige Wessel and freshman Noelle Langenkamp tallied three each.
For Lipscomb, Jewell Dobson and Lauren Ford tabbed 11 kills each while Ford also collected two service aces. Ford, Brittany Estes and Molly Spitznagle each had two blocks apiece while Caitlin Dotson dished out 31 assists.
After trading points early in the first set, WKU took a substantial lead at 13-6 after rolling out a 6-0 run that included kills from Skinner, Boyan and Langenkamp. Down 19-10 after a junior Janee' Diggins kill, Lipscomb started closing the gap with a 6-1 scoring run to make it 21-15 in favor of WKU. The Lady Bison got as close as 24-20, but a Wessel kill sealed the win at 25-20.
With 10 tied scores and five lead changes to open the second frame, WKU took control at 13-11 after two Lipscomb miscues to force a visitor timeout. Lipscomb continued to stay close out of the break, giving WKU breathing room of only one or two points. With WKU ahead 18-14, Lipscomb put the deficit at one after a 6-3 run, but the Lady Toppers ended the set with four-straight to win 25-20.
The Lady Toppers came out aggressive in the final contest, using a kill and ace from Skinner plus solo blocks from Wessel and Bodway to grab a 6-1 lead. The defense stayed on top of the Lady Bison the whole set, notching seven blocks and 13 digs, as Lipscomb hit -.200 for the frame. Bodway grabbed three of her four blocks in the set while Boyan, Wessel and junior Lindsay Spears collected two on the way to the team's 25-11 win.
WKU travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., this weekend to participate in the Coke/Michigan Invitational. On Friday, Sept. 14, the team faces Duke at 12 p.m. CT before taking on host No. 22 Michigan at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Lady Toppers wrap up their last regular-season tournament on Saturday, Sept. 15 with Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m. CT.