Volleyball earns sixth straight sweep

Austin Lanter

The Lady Topper volleyball team closed out the road portion of its regular season with a pair of sweeps in Texas over the weekend.

WKU (22-5, 12-1 Sun Belt Conference) topped Texas State on Friday and Texas-Arlington on Saturday.

“Toughness is not necessarily a word I’ve used a ton with our team this year, but I thought we showed great character and toughness on the road this weekend,” coach Travis Hudson said. “We played from behind a lot…and I’m really pleased how our kids hung in and made plays when they needed to.”

The last five games of the season will be played in Diddle Arena as the Lady Toppers finish the season strong before making a run at their third straight Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship.

The Sun Belt Tournament will begin Nov. 21 at Troy.

Although WKU swept Texas State, the match was much closer than the 3-0 final score. The first two sets were decided by two points apiece at 25-23 before the Lady Toppers won on a 25-19 third set.

Senior defensive specialist Ashley Potts said the Texas State match helped the team because of the competition.

“It was actually one of the most fun matches we’ve had all year because it was really competitive the whole time,” Potts said. “It was just a long, hard game, and it was really fun.”

The Lady Toppers had 20 more kills, digs and assists than their opponents.

Junior middle hitter Heather Boyan led the way with 14 kills on the match. Senior setter Melanie Stutsman posted a double-double with 42 assists and 12 digs while Potts tallied 25 digs.

Right after the game the team boarded a bus and traveled to Arlington, Texas, which is about three and a half hours from Texas State. The team didn’t arrive until after midnight and their Saturday game started at 3 p.m.

“(The quick turnaround) could’ve been an excuse for us, but our team would rather get up and play right away than sit around all day and play later that night or the next day,” Potts said.

The match-up pitted one of the best offensives in the conference in WKU against one of the best defenses in Texas-Arlington (15-12, 8-6 SBC). However, the Lady Toppers were able to hold their own against the Mavericks, recording eight more digs and two more blocks than their opponents.

Sophomore middle hitter Noelle Langenkamp led the way at the net with six blocks while three different players for WKU tallied nine digs.

“I think we did things better this weekend,” Hudson said. “From a competitive standpoint, we did some of the little things that you need to do to win at a high level. I’m very, very pleased to get those two wins.”

The next game for the Lady Toppers will be Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns handed WKU its lone conference loss earlier this season in Louisiana.