WKU Volleyball Completes Sweep of UTEP in CUSA Conference Opener
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Holding UTEP to their lowest hitting chart of the season (.024), the No. 25 Tops swept the Conference USA opponent to keep on a seven-match win streak. Kenadee Coyle produced her second consecutive error-free match, while Paige Briggs led the charge on the outside with a 13-kill day.
“That was one really good team [UTEP]. We played a lot of top-25 and NCAA Tournament bound teams, they are definitely one of them”, head coach Travis Hudson said. “We had to fight. I think these wins this weekend are a product of the schedule we’ve played. We found ourselves behind, have to comeback and win again last night then today. It was all about starting fast.”
The Hilltopper defense held UTEP to negative hitting percentages in the second and third sets from eight blocks led by Logan Grevengoed and Kenadee Coyle. From the service line, Katie Howard strung four aces, her most in a match since Troy on Sept. 8. WKU 3, UTEP 0: 27-25, 25-13, 26-14
The second match of the series went off as a battle between the top two teams in the league, as Kaylee Cox and Paige Briggs collected the first set of WKU kills and Callie Bauer earned the first Hilltopper ace. The two teams went back-and-forth on the scoreboard. They both stayed even on the court with 3-0 runs until UTEP jumped on four straight points into the media timeout. The Miners carried the lead until a Hilltopper 4-0 scoring run gave WKU a one-point advantage at the 20-point mark of the match. UTEP carried the scoring momentum against the Hilltopper defense, earning set point while WKU had 22 on the board. A 3-0 run that featured two sideout points and a Bauer service ace gave the Tops set point into extras. A kill from UTEP’s Alianza Darley cut the Hilltopper run, until back-to-back kills from Kenadee Coyle and Cox wrapped up the first frame, 27-25.
Kaylee Cox hit an ace from the service line to pick up the first point of the second frame in Diddle Arena. The Tops then rallied into a 4-1 run to take the advantage over the Miners as Briggs picked up a kill and WKU earned two sideoutpoints. The Red and White took over the entire set, drawing a large lead with an 11-point margin that was capped with four straight points. After the Miners earned a 3-1 run of their own, WKU took the largest margin at 13 points with back-to-back service aces from Katie Howard and a kill off the defenders finger tips from Briggs. UTEP took another 3-0 run, until WKU shot out offense on the board with the final two kills from the Hilltopper front line from Izzy Van De Wiele.
The Tops and Miners were even keeled at the start of the third set. WKU took the board first, off of a Kaylee Cox kill down the line. UTEP caught up until the Red and White jumped on the first large run of the match up with three straight points that featured a kill from the middle by Izzy Van De Wiele and back-to-back blocks from Cox and Logan Grevengoed. After a battle, UTEP took a 4-0 run to take a one-point lead. After rallies over the net, WKU took back the lead before the media timeout, and ran with a 7-0 run through the break. After the Miner’s Torrance Lovesee stuck down on the outside, the Tops went on for five points in a row to capture the series.
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