Lady Toppers earn win No. 300 at Diddle Arena

Austin Lanter

A few hours after losing in straight sets to Ohio, the Lady Topper volleyball team responded with sweep of the UNLV Rebels to claim its 300th win at Diddle Arena.

“I remember when I was trying to get my first win in Diddle,” coach Travis Hudson said. “It probably took me a couple years to get my first win. But Diddle’s turned into such a great atmosphere for volleyball.

“I’m so proud of what our program as grown into and the atmosphere that’s been created by our fan base.”

Defense was a big difference in WKU’s final game of the Invitational tournament against UNLV.

Against Ohio on Saturday morning, the Lady Toppers recorded two team blocks total in the match, both of which coming in the third and final set. The Lady Bobcats, on the other hand, recorded nine team blocks in the match and outhit WKU with a .317 percentage compared to .256 for the home team.

In the night game against the Rebels, WKU tallied four blocks alone in the first set as they took the set 25-19. The Lady Toppers led the majority of the match and held their opponents to a .184 hitting percentage while their percentage came in at .529.

“We’re just too up and down right now with things we’re doing,” Hudson said. “I’m really really proud of our kids tonight. They played hard tonight and needed to. We’re not playing great volleyball right now and that’s on me.”

Five different Lady Toppers had three kills or more in the first set as sophomore middle hitter Noelle Langenkamp led the way with five of the teams 19 kills.

In the second set, WKU found itself down later in the match by a score of 18-15. With Langenkamp at the service line, the Lady Toppers used an 8-0 run to retake the lead and control of the match. In the end, WKU took the set 25-19 and took a 2-0 set lead into the break.

“We were down in that set and the thing we talk about all the time is getting stops,” junior middle hitter Heather Boyan said. “We needed to get blocks and stops on defense and that’s what we did in that run and it compelled us to the next game and into the win.”

WKU tallied four more blocks in the second set and the Lady Rebels hit .000 in the set.

The Lady Toppers took the third set in a close one, 25-22 to win the match 3-0. With the win, WKU moved to 2-1 on the weekend in the WKU Invitational.

Langenkamp and Boyan led the team in kills against UNLV Saturday night with 11 a piece. Senior setter Melanie Stutsman tallied 42 of the teams 47 assists on the night and senior defensive specialist Ashley Potts chipped in with 17 digs to lead the team.

“I think that we just focused more on our servings and our stops in the two wins,” Boyan said. “Serving is really a big part of it and it’s important to get the other team out of system. We played really hard in all three games but the main thing was serving aggressively and getting stops.”

Ohio (8-1) took home first place at the WKU Invitational winning all three of their games and only dropping two sets during the weekend, both sets to Virginia in its final game.

WKU will be back in action Friday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. against Dayton. The game will be the first of three in the Flyer Classic in Dayton, Ohio. The last time WKU and Dayton played, the Lady Flyers were ranked No. 10 in the nation and WKU won the match 3-1 as part of the WKU Invitational.

The other two teams in the tournament are Western Michigan (6-3) and Wright State (5-8). The Lady Toppers have losing records against both teams, losing the only match they have played against Western Michigan and dropping four of five games against Wright State.