WKU avenges only conference loss in win over ULL

Austin Lanter

WKU sweeps ULL to avenge lone conference loss

Austin Lanter


The WKU volleyball team avenged its only loss of the conference season Friday night with a sweep over Louisiana-Lafayette.

ULL (18-11, 8-7 SBC) beat the Lady Toppers at home Oct. 13 3-2.

The win is the seventh straight sweep for WKU since that loss nearly a month ago.

With the win, the Lady Toppers are now 23-5 on the season and 13-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.

“We really controlled things on our side of the night tonight,” coach Travis Hudson said. “Lafayette plays really well in their own building. Getting off to a good start was big because Lafayette is a team that feeds off emotion and energy and they never really got that going tonight.”

WKU never trailed in the first set of the match and quickly opened up a 10-point lead at 14-4. From there the team didn’t let up and extended its lead to as many as 13 at one point. Sophomore outside hitter Haley Bodway sealed the win with a kill, her sixth of the set to lead all scorers.

ULL had eight kills total in the set compared to 14 from WKU. Five of those ULL kills came from junior outside hitter Kelly Wiesmann.

The Lady Toppers hit .393 in the set while holding their opponents to a hitting percentage of .069. WKU also recorded three team blocks in the first set compared to zero for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“We focused a lot this week on executing,” Bodway said. “Last time we play Lafayette we didn’t execute very well offensively. That was one of our main focuses this week and it showed tonight.”

The second set was a much closer affair than the first. Towards the middle of the first set WKU led ULL 10-7. However, the Lady Toppers were able to open up a nine point lead at 21-12 and finish it off from there, 25-17.

Both teams improved on their hitting percentage from the first set. WKU hit an impressive .478 in the second set while ULL hit .346, a drastic improvement from the .069 from the first set.

The Ragin’ Cajuns did not take their first lead of the night until the early stages of the third set at 9-8. After Hudson called a timeout down 10-8, WKU responded to their opponents 4-0 by scoring four straight points of their own to force a ULL timeout.

ULL would end the Lady Topper run at 6-0 with a kill. However, WKU ended the game on a 17-5 run to take the set 25-15 and the match 3-0.

“We came out a little unfocused in that third set and all of a sudden it’s starting to get louder on the other side of the net and that’s a very dangerous place to be in,” Hudson said.

Senior setter Melanie Stutsman finished the game with 25 assists to lead the team. Bodway lead the way for WKU with eight kills in the match. Six different Lady Toppers had five kills or more.

Friday’s game was the first of a five game home stand for the Lady Toppers after playing six of their last seven on the road.

“It’s nice being back,” Bodway said. “Our home atmosphere I feel like is awesome and it’s really grown. It’s nice to take a break from the road.”

WKU will be back in action this Sunday against Arkansas-Little Rock in Diddle Arena. With a win, the Lady Toppers clinch the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament later this month and at least a share of the Sun Belt regular season title.

“I wouldn’t say it’s any added pressure, it’s just another game,” junior middle hitter Heather Boyan said. “We’re not focusing on whether we win or loss. We’re focusing on the things that we do during the game and how well we play and the little things. If we all do our jobs, we’ll win.”