Lady Tops cruise to sweep of Tennessee Tech

Junior middle hitter Noelle Langenkamp spikes the ball during WKU’s 3-2 win over Purdue on Friday, Sept. 12 at Diddle Arena. Mike Clark/HERALD

Jonah Phillips

The WKU Volleyball team (12-4) dished out a sweep in its last non-conference match of the season on Tuesday, shutting out Tennessee Tech (5-11) 3-0 in Diddle Arena by scores of 25-18, 25-7 and 25-13.

“This was a match I really knew we should have control of,” Head Coach Travis Hudson said. “I knew it would come down to our serving. I’ve talked about how poor it was last weekend. So we made some adjustments in practice, and we played much better tonight.”

It was another impressive performance from freshmen setter Jessica Lucas, who notched eight kills, zero errors and marked a .667 hitting percentage while tallying 23 assists.

Senior middle hitter Heather Boyan also had eight kills. Freshman middle hitter Sydney Engle had seven.

“Our starting lineup is three freshmen, two sophomores and a senior, and they continue to progress,” Hudson said. “I think you see Alyssa Cavanaugh turning into something special right before your eyes. Sydney Engle is one of the smartest players I have ever coached.  Jessica Lucas, coming off mono, every time out, she is a little bit better. These are the things I love about coaching this team so much.”

Sophomore defensive specialist Georgia O’Connell kept the rallies alive with 12 digs. The team recorded 35 total digs, five solo blocks and 10 assisted blocks. Freshmen Alyssa Cavanaugh and Sydney Engle each had two solo blocks.

“We are definitely working more on our defense,” Boyan said. “Our defense from serving, blocking or whatever was not where it needed to be the past weekend, so we really grinded it out in practice, and we played much better tonight.”

The troubles that haunted them from the service line against LIU Brooklyn last weekend proved a thing of the past Tuesday. The Lady Toppers notched eight service aces against the Golden Eagles, led by Cavanaugh with three.

In the final set, WKU held TTU to just two kills. The Lady Toppers had nine attack errors, helping the Golden Eagles stay in the game early, but the Lady Toppers’ potent offense proved too much to handle, and WKU held on to seal the sweep 25-13.

WKU begins its first season of Conference USA play this weekend, traveling to L.A. Tech for a Friday match at 7 p.m. before hosting Rice on Sunday at noon.

“We are still just finding our way,” Hudson said. “I know people are scratching their heads hearing me say that with the success that we have had, but I’m telling you, there is still so much we have to do from a competitive standpoint.”