Skinner plays, but WKU volleyball team still drops season opener to Purdue

Emily Patton

This story was originally published Aug. 27, 2010.

Head Coach Travis Hudson said on Wednesday there was almost no chance injured sophomore Jordyn Skinner would play at Purdue.

Just hours before game time Friday, all that changed.

Skinner, who started as a freshman in 2009, went down awkwardly on her left ankle last Friday. She sat out the entirety of this week’s practice and was expected to be out for at least two weeks.

“We had no idea she would be out there. It was definitely a game-day decision,” Hudson said. “She woke up and her ankle had really improved. Our training staff thought she could give it a go.”

The sophomore finished Friday’s match with a .294 hitting percentage, eight digs and six kills.

WKU still lost its season-opening match to Purdue, 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 18-25), in the opening round of the Mortar Board Premier. But without his star outside hitter, Hudson the results may have been even worse.

“Jordyn Skinner played fantastic,” he said. “She really gave us a boost. It showed a lot to her teammates in terms of her toughness.”

After trading kills in the first game, freshman Melanie Stutsman tied it at 15-15. Boilermaker junior Tiffany Fisher rallied back with a kill to give Purdue a 22-19 lead, which grew to a 25-20 win in set one.

Purdue held off all attempted Lady Tops’ rallies to win in straight sets.

“A lot of the things we struggled with tonight are things that should be strengths for this team,” Hudson said. “But the main problem was we ran into a really good team. Purdue may be the best team on our schedule this year.”

The Lady Toppers also lost their 2009 season opener.

Although Skinner posted the second-best numbers of the team behind freshmen Melanie Stutsman, Hudson said she was the star of the night.

“Jordyn is a competitive kid, and she did so much for us tonight,” he said.

When the Lady Toppers will play two matches tomorrow against Northern Iowa and Central Michigan, Skinner could possibly be on the floor yet again.

Depending on her condition after Friday’s play, Hudson said Skinner could play one of the two remaining matches in the round-robin Premier in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday.

WKU plays Northern Iowa at 11 a.m. and Central Michigan at 4 p.m.