Middle Tennessee hands WKU first Sun Belt loss, takes league lead

Herald Staff

Middle Tennessee handed the WKU volleyball team its first Sun Belt Conference loss and snapped a seven-match winning streak on Wednesday night.

The Lady Toppers (15-5, 4-1 Sun Belt) were swept 3-0 (18-25, 22-25, 20-25) by the Blue Raiders at Alumni Memorial Gym in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

MTSU (15-4, 6-0) now holds sole possession of the league’s top spot and continued its 12-match winning streak.

Head Coach Travis Hudson called it a “disappointing night.”

“A lot of credit goes to Middle Tennessee,” Hudson said. “They had a great atmosphere, and they played very well. For whatever reason, our kids just weren’t ready to play, and that is on me.”

It was disappointing for sure — just not for the team wearing blue.

MTSU scored 14 of the match’s first 17 points. WKU then closed the gap to 20-16, but the Blue Raiders rallied to score five of the next eight points and win the first set, 25-18. The second set, which featured 10 ties and seven lead changes, finished with a 25-22 win for MTSU.

The Blue Raiders led nearly wire to wire in the third set, breaking away from a 3-3 tie with a run the Lady Toppers never matched. A 25-20 set win capped off a sweep for the home team.

Redshirt freshman Paige Wessel was the bright spot for WKU. She, along with senior Emily Teegarden, led the Lady Toppers with eight kills. Wessel also posted a .412 hitting percentage.

WKU’s five-match road trip continues this weekend with a match at South Alabama at 7 p.m. Friday and at Troy at 3 p.m. Saturday.

“This is one of those character checks for our kids,” Hudson said. “We’ve got to respond and come back and keep winning matches and hope to get another shot at (MTSU) down the road.”