WKU defeats Missouri 3-1 in American Tournament opener

Lucas Aulbach

It was somewhat of a comeback victory, but No. 31 WKU defeated No. 32 Missouri in four sets in their first match at the American University Tournament in Washington D.C. on Friday.

The Lady Toppers (11-1) dropped the first set (20-25) to the Tigers, but went on to take the next three (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) to earn the win.

“I’m very proud of the effort we put out there tonight,” Head Coach Travis Hudson said. “We didn’t start out well. We dropped the first set and were down 9-3 in the second at one point, but we got ourselves together, came back and beat a very good Missouri team.”

It was the fourth time this season that the Lady Toppers have lost the first set but came back to win the next three.

With the win, WKU extended its winning streak to eight matches and finished with a season-high 60 kills and .291 hitting percentage.

Senior middle hitter Tiffany Elmore led the Lady Toppers with 13 kills and had the highest hitting percentage of all players at .478.

Sophomore setter Melanie Stutsman contributed with 38 assists, the most of anyone on the court.

Junior outside hitter Jordyn Skinner, the reigning national player of the week, recorded 11 kills, as did sophomore outside hitter Janee’ Diggins.

Sophomore defensive specialist Ashley Potts led WKU with 18 digs. She has recorded double digit digs in all 12 matches this season.

WKU beat Missouri at Diddle last season in a game that Hudson called WKU’s biggest win of the season.

He said it was good to have the same result on Friday in the Lady Toppers’ tournament opener.

“It’s definitely a really good start,” Hudson said of Friday’s win. “We’ll find out how much the win really means after tomorrow.”

WKU will close out the tournament tomorrow with a match against American University at 10 a.m. and Villanova at 3 p.m.