Hilltoppers split first two games of WKU Volleyball Invitational


Arthur Trickett-Wile

WKU Hilltoppers’ fifth-year defensive specialist Logan Kael (18) and fifth-year setter Nadia Dieudonne (2) dive for a missed block during a volleyball match in Diddle Arena, against the Austin Peay Governors on Friday evening, Sept. 17, 2021.

Jake McMahon, Sports Editor

The No. 21 ranked Hilltoppers (11-2) split their first two games of the WKU Volleyball Invitational Friday at Diddle Arena on Friday. 

WKU defeated the Tennessee Tech University Golden Eagles (3-7) 3-1 and lost to the Texas A&M Aggies (7-3)  in the second game of the double header.

Game 1: WKU, 3 TTU 1

Senior Paige Briggs dominated the Golden Eagles. Briggs led the Hilltoppers with 23 kills, four service aces and a .697 hitting percentage. WKU played a very disciplined match, only tallying 14 total errors against Tennessee Tech.


The Hilltoppers obliterated the Golden Eagles in set one. WKU began the set on a 11-1 run. Two Golden Eagle kills coming out of a timeout finally got Tennessee Tech on the score sheet. 

However, Tennessee Tech wasn’t able to gather any momentum from those two kills. The Hilltoppers went on to end the set on a 14-0 run. A service ace from WKU junior Cameron Mosley capped off the fantastic first set 25-3. 

The second set was a lot more competitive than the first. The set began with both teams trading scores, until a 4-0 Golden Eagle run forced WKU head coach Travis Hudson to use a timeout. The set continued to stay tight until the end. A kill from Tennessee Tech senior Taylor Dorsey concluded a 3-1 run and won the second set for the Golden Eagles. 

The third set started with both clubs trading scores. The Hilltoppers and Lady Techsters found themselves tied at four.  A 6-1 run by the Hilltoppers put WKU up 10-5. Tennessee Tech would  answer with its own run coming out of a timeout, tying  the set at 15. 

The third set would continue to stay close, but a Paige Briggs kill locked up the set for the Hilltoppers 25-23.

The Hilltoppers started off the fourth set hot. A kill from fifth year Lauren Matthews put WKU up 5-0 early. Tennessee Tech tried to fight back but the Hilltoppers had all the momentum in the set. A Paige Briggs kill won the set 25-11.

Game 2: Texas A&M, 3 WKU 0

WKU Volleyball fell to the Texas A&M Aggies 3-0 in its second game of the tournament. 

Senior Paige Briggs and fifth year Lauren Matthews were some of the few bright spots in the match. Matthews led the squad with 14 kills and hit .545. Briggs followed right behind with 11 kills in the three sets played. 

“ Well she’s playing really well. She’s a good kid. She shows up every night,” Hudson said. “You know what you are gonna get from her, you know what you are gonna get from Lauren Matthews, some of our young players have just gotta grow up and start making plays.”

The Hilltoppers took control of set one. An 8-0 run put WKU up 9-5 early in the set. The Hilltoppers kept the momentum in the set and a service ace from fifth-year senior Ashley Hood gave the Hilltoppers a 17-12 lead. 

However, the Aggies never stopped fighting in the set and knotted the score at 21. Texas A&M went on a 4-0 run to end the set and went up 1-0.

The second set started much like the first. WKU started hot yet again with Lauren Matthews’ kill putting the Hilltoppers up 11-6 early. WKU continued to play very well in the set and a 5-1 run would put the Hilltoppers up six. However the Aggies clawed all the way back and forced the set into extra serves. A kill and a service ace from Texas A&M won the set for the Aggies. 

The third set stayed tight from the first serve to last. Both teams traded scores for a majority of the set. The Aggies were able to find some separation and a 3-1 run put A&M up 20-17. The Hilltoppers never backed down, but it was evident that the Aggies still had all the momentum in the match. A service error by sophomore Katie Howard ended the set 25-22 and Texas A&M would complete the sweep against the Hilltoppers.

“Texas A&M played very very well tonight,” head coach Travis Hudson said. “If they play like that they’re gonna win a lot of games. We gotta look in the mirror at ourselves a little bit and fix a couple of things, and if we do we’re gonna be fine.”

The Hilltoppers will look to bounce back in their final game of the WKU Volleyball Invitational against the Indiana University Hoosiers Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2:30 p.m. CT. at Diddle Arena.

Sports reporter Jake McMahon be reached at [email protected]