WKU sweeps another against FIU, peeks ahead to MTSU

WKU remained perfect in Sun Belt Conference play on Saturday with a 3-0 win over defending conference champ Florida International. The Lady Toppers next travel to Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, a match that pits the Sun Belt’s only two remaining undefeated teams.

Emily Patton

They Lady Toppers passed their biggest Sun Belt Conference so far this season on Saturday.

WKU (15-4, 4-0) defeated defending Sun Belt champion Florida International 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-14) in Diddle Arena, extending its winning streak to seven.

FIU (8-8, 2-2) had won six of the teams’ last eight meetings, defeating WKU twice last season by a 3-1 margin each time.

But it was the Lady Toppers who came out all smiles this time around.

“This is the best we have played this year,” Head Coach Travis Hudson said. “We were really good in all phases of the game. This says we are growing, says we are getting better, says we are going to be a factor at the end. Those are all things that I thought at the beginning of the year.”

Hudson said he saw strength from both sides of the ball, with the WKU defense earning 38 digs and the offense combing for 44 kills and a .359 hitting percentage.

Junior middle hitter Lindsay Williams finished with 13 individual kills and a .476 hitting percentage, a performance she said was because of “the high from the match last night.”

WKU defeated Florida Atlantic 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-20) in Diddle Arena the night before.

“I felt really good,” Williams said. “I think I’m still on the high from the match last night. It just shows how much we can accomplish. It’s funny because no one in our league seems to believe in us.”

Sophomore libero Sarah Rogers, who led the team with 10 digs, echoed the confidence that the FIU match has brought.

“I feel like I have never been on a better team,” Rogers said. “This win kind of sold it for our team.”

After the FIU win, both Williams and Rogers said their main focus is already on being ready for the Middle Tennessee match in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Wednesday night.

“Middle is our main focus,” Rogers said. “FIU are out of the way. We beat them in three, (MTSU) beat them in four, so we are ready. I think we are the ones to beat.”

WKU and the Blue Raiders, both undefeated in conference play, beat both FAU and FIU this weekend.

“It will be an exciting match,” Hudson said. “Middle Tennessee is terrific. They always are. They are really really good again this year. It is always a terrific matchup, and we are going to have our hands full.”