WKU cruises past South Alabama in final tuneup before MTSU

Sophomore defensive specialist Sara Rogers reacts after scoring during the second set against South Alabama at Diddle Arena on Saturday.

Brad Stephens

Head Coach Travis Hudson gave his Lady Toppers a “C-minus” for their performance in a win over Troy Friday night.

But he said the campus football atmosphere provided all the motivation his team needed for their match against South Alabama Saturday night at Diddle Arena.

WKU (25-6, 14-1 Sun Belt Conference) swept the Jaguars 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-9.)

“Today was the first time we’ve been at home the same day we’ve had a home football game,” Hudson said. “Seeing all the people that love our university reminded our kids about the responsibility of wearing a WKU jersey and representing it in a way to make our community proud.

“Tonight was a much better performance by our kids, and I think anybody who sat and watched the matches last night and tonight understands the difference.”

WKU recorded a .398 hitting percentage while holding South Alabama to a paltry -.021 hitting percentage.

Sophomore outside hitter Jordyn Skinner contributed a team-high eight kills, along with five assists and six digs.

She said the Lady Toppers came out Saturday night wanting to prove that they were better than their performance against Troy would indicate.

“Last night we came out a little dull,” Skinner said. “Tonight we knew that South Alabama would be a tougher opponent and that we’d have to play to our potential.”

Because of the lopsided margin, Hudson utilized some of his younger players.

Freshman middle hitters Janee’ Diggins and Lindsay Spears and sophomore defensive specialist Kacy Moran all played at least one game, allowing veterans like senior defensive specialist Kelly Potts to get some rest.

“Games like this give the younger players experience for future years,” Potts said. “But they’re also beneficial for this season because if someone goes down, we don’t have to put in someone that hasn’t played much.”

The win sets up a long-awaited rematch against Middle Tennessee at home next Friday for Senior Night.

The Blue Raiders defeated WKU 3-0 on Oct. 5, but Friday’s game will decide who secures the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Sun Belt Tournament.

Hudson said it was great to have a week of practice before Friday’s showdown but added that his team has been eager to play Middle Tennessee for awhile now.

“We started preparing for them the moment we lost on their home court,” Hudson said. “We wanted it to come down to this, and we feel real good about our chances. I can assure you that the team that walks out of here with a win deserves to be the Sun Belt champion.

“If they can come in here on our Senior Night and win, which they’re more than capable of doing, then God bless them. They deserve to be champions.”