FIU breaks Lady Topper set streak in WKU win

Elliott Pratt

The streak came to an end Friday night in South Beach as the Lady Toppers dropped their first set of the year in Sun Belt Conference play to Florida International. However, WKU remains undefeated in the Sun Belt after bouncing back for a 3-1 win (25-17, 26-28, 25-20, 25-15).

Senior Jordyn Skinner and junior Melanie Stutsman both posted double-doubles on the night. Skinner threw down 16 kills and 17 digs while Stutsman notched 51 assists and 16 digs. WKU is tied with Morehead State for the nation’s longest win-streak at 17.

With the Hilltopper football team in attendance, the Lady Toppers earned a solid 13-4 lead to begin the first set with the help of a pair of kills from junior Paige Wessel and freshman Haley Bodway, who finished the evening with 12 kills. A late 6-1 scoring run from the Cougars wasn’t enough to reach the Lady Toppers as WKU prevailed in the first set 25-17.

WKU held FIU back through the first half of the second set leading 12-8 after a Bodway kill. FIU tied the score three different times before WKU took another advantage with the help of a Skinner block and a kill from freshman Noelle Langenkamp.

After a FIU timeout, the Cougars fought back to tie the set at 22-all. The game tied four more times before FIU blocked a Lady Topper attack to win 28-26, handing WKU its first set loss of the year in conference play, and it’s first since the Michigan tournament in mid-September.

FIU carried over that momentum out of the break into the third set by leading the Lady Toppers for much of the third frame. A kill from Langenkamp pulled WKU within one, trailing 12-11. The Lady Toppers rallied back to jump ahead of the Cougars 23-17 before an eventual 25-20 set victory.

Four kills from Skinner and three from Bodway late in the fourth set gave WKU the 25-15 win, leaving the Lady Toppers undefeated in conference play.

WKU filled out the stat sheet on the night with impressive numbers. While Skinner and Stutsman recorded double-doubles, sophomore middle hitter Heather Boyan notched 13 kills and a team-high four blocks. Langenkamp finished with 11 kills and three blocks while junior defensive specialist Ashley Potts went for a team-high 26 digs.

WKU will face Florida Atlantic Saturday at noon.