VOLLEYBALL: Conference streak ends against Indians

Amber North

Even after it swelled to 24 games, the Sun Belt winning streak Western volleyball had amassed over two years had to end sometime.

The last team to defeat Western was New Mexico State on Oct. 12, 2001.

Last Friday Arkansas State snapped the streak in a 3-2 (27-30, 25-30, 30-16, 31-29, 11-15) win in Jonesboro, Ark.

“It’s just a streak, and streaks are made to be broken,” coach Travis Hudson said. “It’s quite impressive that we were able to put up something like that.”

Last season Arkansas State finished fourth in the East division with a 4-10 record in the Sun Belt.

But that season has been erased from ASU’s memories as they took over first place in the SBC East standings with the win.

After struggling with knee injuries in the last two seasons, junior Lyndsey Broerman was a spark off the bench to post a career-high 20 kills.

“I felt like I really needed to come in off the bench and step up to make some plays and try to get us in a rhythm offensively,” Broerman said.

Down two games, Western took the third game and maintained its momentum in a see-saw fourth game.

From the beginning the game was close, but the Lady Toppers held their ground to weasel a two-point margin victory.

But the Lady Indians controlled the fifth game, leaving their home court as winners.

“I thought we could beat them, and we shouldn’t have been in a 0-2 situation,” Hudson said. “But throughout the match we showed a great deal of character.”

Broerman said the loss should be helpful for the team.

“Even though we lost to Arkansas State, if you can consider a loss ‘good,’ it was a good loss because we learned a lot from it,” she said. “We should take it from there and move forward.”

And on Saturday, the Lady Toppers did just that as they traveled to play Arkansas-Little Rock.

UALR took the Lady Toppers to four games but lost the match because of poor hitting. Western won 30-19, 30-23, 26-30, 30-9.

Western held the Lady Trojans to a .059 hitting percentage for the match, despite Little Rock hitting .300 in its third-game win.

The Lady Toppers closed the fourth and final game with a 10-4 run. Little Rock only scored nine points in the game, which set a Western school record for lowest score by an opponent.

Western (15-5, 3-1 SBC) returns to Diddle Arena to face division rival Florida International at 7 p.m. Friday.

Although Arkansas State bumped Western from first place, Hudson said that’s not a big concern now.

“The conference race has yet to be won,” he said.

Lady Toppers home streak extends to 30

Although one streak has snapped, the Lady Toppers still have their home win streak alive. Western defeated Belmont in a three-game sweep last Tuesday (30-18, 30-18, 30-15) to increase its streak to 30.

The Bruins (0-13) were held to a .000 hitting percentage.

Senior Cynda Derbort led Western with 13 kills.

Reach Amber North at [email protected]