Defense propels WKU volleyball to two victories over weekend

Lucas Aulbach

Defense was dominant for the WKU volleyball team Saturday afternoon in a three-set sweep of Florida Atlantic at Diddle Arena.

The Lady Toppers (21-2, 8-1 Sun Belt Conference) held FAU under .100 hitting percentage in all three sets after doing the same in their sweep of Florida International Friday night. WKU went 2-0 on the weekend and finished 4-1 in a five-match homestand.

Head Coach Travis Hudson saw some late flaws in Saturday’s game but was pleased with the way his team performed over the course of the weekend.

“I don’t think we finished great,” he said. “We had a lot of unforced errors in that third game, but I can’t complain about the weekend we had.”

Hudson said WKU’s defense was a big reason why the team did so well.

“I just think for the weekend we continued to defend really well,” he said. “You’re going to win a lot of matches when you hold teams around a .000 hitting percentage.”

Sophomore setter Melanie Stutsman led the Lady Toppers’ offense with eight kills, while sophomore outside hitter Janee’ Diggins and senior middle hitter Lindsay Williams each finished with seven kills. Stutsman recorded an additional 29 assists.

Sophomore defensive specialist Ashley Potts and junior outside hitter Jordyn Skinner led the defense with 10 digs each.

The matches over the weekend were the last at home for the Lady Toppers for the next two weeks. They will be on the road for the next three matches before returning to Diddle on October 28th.

WKU’s next opponent is Cincinnati, the last nonconference game on it’s schedule. Cincinnati eliminated WKU from the NCAA tournament last season, but Hudson said he’s viewing it as just another game.

“I’m not a revenge guy from year to year,” he said. “If it was the same two rosters then maybe you look at it that way but it’s a different team for them, it’s a different team for us and it’s always great volleyball.”

The Lady Toppers next play Cincinnati at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.