Lady Toppers handle business in Cincinnati

Janee’ Diggins/

Elliott Pratt

WKU knocked off longtime rival Cincinnati, 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15) on Tuesday night at UC’s Fifth Third Arena.

A season-high 10 service aces helped the Lady Toppers defeat the Bearcats for the first time in 10 years. It was the first time that any of coach Travis Hudson’s teams have won in Cincinnati.

WKU hit the ball with near perfection on the night, with three Lady Toppers hitting over .400. 

Junior outside hitter Janee’ Diggins threw down 12 kills on 24 attempts with one error, posting a .458 hitting percentage.

Senior Jordyn Skinner hit the .436 mark with 19 kills, and Paige Wessel had nine kills with a .438 hitting percentage.

But it was the freshman Rachel Engle that shined for the Lady Toppers on the historic night. 

The Floyd Knobs, Ind., native led the team with a season-high four service aces on top of her 10 digs on the match.

WKU hit a 5-0 run to stretch the lead to 14-8 in the first set from consecutive service aces from Skinner.

UC pulled within three at 22-19, but triple kills courtesy of Wessel, Heather Boyan and Diggins gave WKU the first set victory at 25-19.

The Lady Toppers didn’t have the same success in the second set.  UC never let WKU catch the lead, and stretched the score as far as 14-7. 

The Lady Toppers pulled within three points in the end when the Bearcats took the second set 25-22.

With the score tied at 20 in set three, the Lady Toppers pulled together a 5-1 run with blocks by Boyan and Wessel to take the set 25-21.

Three aces from defensive specialists Sarah Rogers and a Boyan block set up a 10-1 run for WKU to take its first lead of the fourth and final set at 14-5. The Lady Toppers cruised their way to a 25-15 set victory.

WKU will come home Friday afternoon to open the WKU Tournament against Tennessee Tech at 1:00 p.m. in Diddle Arena.

The Lady Toppers will also host No. 10 Dayton, No. 26 Ohio State and IUPUI during the tournament.