WKU Volleyball sweeps Holiday Inn – University Plaza Invitational


Jacob Latimer

A loud and engaged crowd can have a huge effect on a volleyball team’s success on the court. Hudson’s Hillraisers are hoping to construct a fan section to cheer WKU Volleyball to victory.

Molly St. Clair, Sports Reporter

WKU Volleyball (9-1) swept the Austin Peay Governors (4-4) in the final three sets of the Holiday Inn – University Plaza Invitational Saturday afternoon at E.A Diddle Arena. 

The Hilltoppers dominated the Governors, claiming their sixth straight win of the season. The Hilltoppers offense totaled 49 kills, 45 assists and seven service aces. The Hilltoppers defense was also formidable, blocking six Governor shots. WKU did a great job of returning Governor attacks with 43 digs in the afternoon.

24 of those kills were credited to outside hitter Paige Briggs. The senior led the team with 25.5 points. Fifth-year senior Laren Matthews also made some noise with 10 kills and 10.5 points for WKU. 

The first set started with a kill by Matthews, setting the tone for a 6-1 lead. The Governors fought back to narrow the deficit to one at 7-6. 

Both teams traded points until Austin Peay tied the game 10-10. Briggs sparked a 5-0 WKU run with a kill, extending the lead to 20-8. 

A kill by sophomore Katie Howard ended the first set to give WKU the upper hand in the match. 

WKU won the second set 25-16. In the beginning of the second set, the Hilltoppers trailed Austin Peay 6-3, but they were not discouraged. 

WKU responded with eight consecutive points, making the score 10-6. WKU maintained momentum after the long scoring streak. The Hilltoppers got out to a comfortable 16-9 lead and a block by Briggs and fifth-year senior Katie Isenbarger concluded the second set of the match.

The Governors put the pressure on the Hilltoppers, keeping it close in the beginning of the third set. The two schools battled hard for each point. 

The match stood still at 10-10 until a Governors attack error led to a kill by Matthews. Briggs created separation from Austin Peay with back-to-back kills. WKU led 16-13.

The Governors struggled the rest of the way against the Hilltopper defense. Austin Peay would only score three more times. The Hilltoppers closed the set on a 9-3 scoring run to sweep Austin Peay and take the set 25-16.

WKU’s next match will be against its second Power Five opponent of the season. WKU will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the University of Tennessee Volunteers Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT.

Sports reporter Molly St. Clair can be reached at can be reached at [email protected].