‘Drained’ WKU volleyball team sweeps South Alabama

Herald Staff

A day after a near-death experience, the WKU volleyball team turned in one of its best performances of the season.

The Lady Toppers (16-5, 5-1 Sun Belt Conference) swept South Alabama 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19) to return to the wins column in Sun Belt play. It was WKU’s 21st straight win against USA (8-12, 3-2) and eighth win in its last nine matches this season.

The win came two days after the Lady Toppers’ first conference loss at Middle Tennessee and a day after their bus driver lost consciousness at the wheel, sending the bus out of control.

“Our kids are drained, you know?” Hudson said. “They are drained emotionally and they are drained physically, and we are traveling through the night here tonight and then have to get up and jump right back out on the court tomorrow afternoon, and that is going to be a real challenge.”

The Lady Toppers, via the Sun Belt offices, had a chance to cancel their weekend matches under Thursday’s circumstances. Instead, they’ll next travel to Troy for a 3 p.m. Saturday match after the USA sweep.

Sophomore Jordyn Skinner recorded eight kills and a .368 hitting percentage. Defensively, Skinner finished the night with a team-high 15 digs, one shy of her season high.

After WKU built a 9-3 lead in the first set, South Alabama closed within one, but the Lady Toppers then used a 6-0 run to make it 21-14. WKU finished the set on back-to-back kills from Emily Teegarden and Lindsay Williams.

The two teams battled back and forth in the second set, which featured seven ties and three lead changes. South Alabama led 12-11 before WKU ran off five straight points to regain the lead for good. The Lady Toppers gradually pulled away from that point to take the set, 25-17.

In the third set, South Alabama jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led 11-7 before WKU scored six straight points to go up 13-11. The Lady Toppers led the rest of the way and closed out the set and the match by winning five straight points.