Lady Toppers fall in straight sets to Ohio

Austin Lanter

For the first time in over a year, the WKU volleyball team lost a match at home, falling 3-0 to the Ohio Bobcats in the second round of the WKU Invitational. The last time WKU lost at home was in the WKU Invitational last year to Ohio State.

It was also the second time this year that the Lady Toppers have been swept, with the first coming at the hands on No. 4 USC in a tournament hosted by Purdue.

With the win, WKU falls to 6-4 on the season while Ohio improves to 7-1. Ohio is also now 23-3 in sets this year with all three losses coming at the hands of No. 24 North Carolina.

The Lady Bobcats are getting some national attention as well as they received 58 votes in Monday’s American Volleyball Coaches Poll, ranking them No. 29 in the nation.

Ohio entered the match with a 1-1 record against teams in the AVCA top 25, defeating No. 8 Oregon in straight sets on the road earlier this year and falling to No. 24 North Carolina in five sets.

After battling the Virginia Cavaliers last night and coming out victorious 3-1, the Lady Toppers knew they would have their hands full Saturday with Ohio.

In the first set, neither team was able to pull away, but WKU held a slight advantage at 21-20. The Bobcats, however, then scored five straight points to win the set 25-21.

In the second set of the match, WKU found itself down 20-14 as Ohio threatened to run away with it. However, the Lady Toppers did not go down without a fight. Senior outside hitter Paige Wessel had three kills down the stretch to help WKU go on two separate three point runs to bring the team within one point at 24-23.

The Bobcats were able to seal the deal though and take the set 25-23 and take a 2-0 match lead into the break.

Defense played a major role in the second set of the game as the Bobcats recorded four team blocks in the second set alone. On the other hand, through the first two sets of the match, WKU had zero blocks.

WKU also held a slight advantage in the third set at 18-16. The end of the set was a very back and forth affair. Later in the set, the score was tied at 22 before Ohio pushed away and won 25-22.

The Lady Toppers will round out WKU Invitational play with a game Saturday night against UNLV (3-4) at 7 p.m. in Diddle Arena.