Lady Toppers dominate in Diddle

WKU’s Noelle Langenkamp and Paige Wessel attempt to make a block against Austin Peay’s Nikki Doyle Tuesday night in Diddle Arena. The volleyball team evened their record with a 3-0 defeat of the Govs.

Elliott Pratt

Fans came out to Diddle Arena Tuesday night to welcome a WKU volleyball team that was looking to shake off the memories of an unexpected 1-2 start to the season. 

The Lady Toppers did just that in dominating form, defeating the Austin Peay Lady Governors 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-11) in their home opener, putting their early season record at 2-2. 

“This was my first game in Diddle,” freshman middle hitter Noelle Langenkamp said. “It was awesome. All the energy and the fans were great. There’s nothing like playing in Diddle.”

Tied at three in the beginning of the first set, WKU jumped out on a 5-0 run and never looked back, taking the first set 25-14.

WKU continued their success right into the second set. 

Four straight kills from WKU, three courtesy of Jordyn Skinner, set up its largest lead of the set at 14-3. 

Austin Peay struggled to get any offensive attack going, with a hitting percentage of .107 compared to WKU’s .424.

WKU took the second set 25-14 and a 2-0 lead at the half.

In the third set, the Lady Toppers accounted for 12 digs while defeating a dismal Austin Peay offense that had a .000 attack percentage.  

“I thought we did great on stops,” defensive specialist Ashley Potts said. “Defense is more than just digging the ball, it’s also blocking, serving and digging. Our front row people did a really great job which allowed us to set up right behind it.”

WKU impeached the Lady Govs in the third set 25-11.

Coach Travis Hudson said after the match that the team spent the weekend establishing what kind of team they would be, and he believes they’ve found it.

“We’ve always been a team that had to prosper in the middle,” Hudson said. “It was good to see Heather (Boyan) and Noelle play better tonight. Our whole offense runs through our middle hitters. Tonight we got back to who we really are.”

Boyan helped lead the Lady Toppers with eight kills in 12 attempts and two errors. She also had two digs and one block.

Langenkamp posted six kills in eight attempts with one error and one block assist.

WKU still must polish the offense if they want have success heading into the Virginia Tournament this weekend, Langenkamp said.

“We need to keep serving aggressively like we did tonight,” Langenkamp said. “It helps so much with our blocking because that’s what got them out of their system so early tonight.”