Volleyball set to host Holiday Inn Invite following sweep of Lipscomb

Junior middle hitter Noelle Langenkamp (13) spikes the ball for a point as Belmont’s Arianna Person (10) and Scarlet Gable (9) try to block during WKU’s 3-0 sweep over Belmont on Tuesday, Sept. 2 in Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. Mike Clark/HERALD

Jonah Phillips

WKU volleyball (7-2) extended its win streak to six on Tuesday with an impressive 25-11, 25-20, 25-20 sweep of Lipscomb (5-2) in Nashville.

Lipscomb entered the match ranked No. 27 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings. The Lady Bisons received 35 votes.

Freshman outside hitter Alyssa Cavanaugh and freshman setter Jessica Lucas continued their solid play, contributing to a Lady Topper hitting mark of .389.

“Alyssa is a very talented kid, she has a lot of gifts,” Head Coach Travis Hudson said. “But we are transitioning her into a position she has never played because we want to get her the ball more — and she is responding. She’s only going to get better from here.”

Cavanaugh smashed 12 kills to tie her career high, while junior outside hitter Haley Bodway dished out 11, combining for more than half of WKU’s 43 kills.

“We’ve been doing well because we have all been focusing on our jobs,” Bodway said. “We’ve been making sure we are following our scouting reports and maintaining our aggression in all parts of our game.”

Lucas tallied 36 assists on the night and added nine digs to the WKU defense. “That was the biggest difference for us,” Hudson said. “Jessica played better, and with her coming off having mono this summer, she will be the first to tell you we are seeing her at about 50 percent right now. As she comes back, I think people will see how talented she really is.”

Lipscomb notched a .152 hitting percentage and 34 kills.

“We are obviously very excited to get the win over such a good team,” Hudson said. “Our kids really took advantage of some situations and played well.  We are not out of the woods yet, but I think our girls are realizing that we can be a pretty good team.”

The Lady Toppers are aiming to extend their win streak this weekend as they play host to the Holiday Inn University Plaza Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

WKU relishes the underdog role it found itself in at Lipscomb and will experience it yet again this weekend when it takes on No. 8 Purdue (6-0) Friday at 7 p.m.

“We have to focus on our game,” Bodway said. “If we get certain blocking assignments, or whatever it may be, we have to focus on ourselves and our game.”

Hudson maintains that the training hasn’t changed since focusing on Purdue, the highest-ranked team WKU has faced thus far.

“This whole season we have been focusing on putting the best product we can put out there,” Hudson said. “What you will see in Purdue is an incredibly gifted team — we just have to play well on our side.”

The other two teams scheduled to face the Lady Toppers are Austin Peay (3-5) and Western Michigan (4-2) on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.