MOBILE, Ala.—The Western Kentucky University volleyball team (12-4, 2-0) took a straight-set win (25-23, 25-19, 25-21) against South Alabama (5-7, 0-2) Saturday at Jag Gym, as 19-year head coach Travis Hudson earned his 200th career Sun Belt Conference win.
Hudson carries a career mark of 200-58 against SBC opponents, good for a winning percentage of .775. He is the winningest coach among active coaches in the league and now has 452 wins during his coaching career.
Middle hitters Noelle Langenkamp and Heather Boyan added strong performances for WKU, as Langenkamp had 15 kills and Boyan posted 11. Each also hit over .600 in the contest, as Langenkamp went .650 and Boyan .667 with a combined three attack errors between the duo. Boyan also recorded four blocks.
Senior Melanie Stutsman passed out 44 assists to go along with six kills, five digs, two aces and two blocks. Senior Ashley Potts posted 11 digs followed by freshman Georgia O’Connell’s seven.
For South Alabama, Mechell Daniel led the team with 14 kills while a pair of Jags added six each. Defensively, Abby Baker tallied nine digs while Mallory Moore tabbed five blocks at the net.
USA punched ahead 3-1 in the opening set following a trio of kills from Daniel. The Jags continued to lead until WKU tied it at points 12 and 13 before a block by sophomore Haley Bodway and Langenkamp gave WKU its first lead. The home team tied it late in the set at 22, but a pair of kills from Langenkamp and a Jag attack error gave WKU the 25-23 win.
The Lady Toppers again fell behind early but bounced back mid-set with a 7-0 run that included four USA errors, kill from Potts and block by Boyan and Stutsman to pull ahead 15-13. Momentum continued to go WKU’s way, as the team went up 22-17 and force a Jag break. A kill from Bodway and a pair by Boyan sealed the second set 25-19 for WKU.
In the third set, WKU jumped ahead with the early 7-4 lead and carried the lead to 13-8 behind back-to-back service aces from Stutsman and kill from senior Janee’ Diggins. USA got within striking distance at 22-20, but a block from Stutsman and Boyan boosted WKU to the 25-21 victory.
WKU continues its SBC road swing by visiting league newcomer Georgia State on Wednesday, October 2. After that match, the Lady Toppers return home to take on fellow newcomers Texas State and UT Arlington next weekend.
For more information on WKU volleyball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the team on Twitter via @TravisHudsonWKU and @WKUVolleyball.