No.22 WKU Volleyball delivers dominant victory in final road game


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.

Cole McIntire, Volleyball reporter

No. 22 WKU Volleyball (25-2, 13-0 C-USA) swept the FIU Panthers (7-19, 4-8 C-USA) 3-0 in their final road game of the season at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Florida. 

The Hilltoppers’ continued their dominance over Conference USA opponents in their road trip to Florida. The squad swept both FAU and FIU, setting up a regular season grand finale against No. 21 Rice University. The Hilltopppers’ have yet to lose a conference game since October of 2019.

The Hilltoppers were clicking on all cylinders against the Panthers. WKU put together 10 service aces, nine blocks, and held FIU to a .092 hitting percentage. The Hilltoppers were also impressive moving the ball. They combined for 42 assists compared to FIU’s 18. WKU showcased their elite ability to control the tempo of the game throughout the competition. 

The Hilltoppers were led by Lauren Matthews who posted 17 kills, three total blocks, and hit at .467. Senior Paige Briggs had a renaissance game, playing all over the floor. Briggs created 10 kills, produced three assists and eight digs, and made two blocks. 

In the first set, the Hilltoppers were led by fifth year senior Lauren Matthews. Matthews tallied seven kills and one block, totaling eight points in the set. She also hit at an impressive .750 hitting percentage in the set. Senior Katie Isenbarger added  two blocks and four kills in the set. The Hilltoppers won the opening set 25-20.

Improving on their first set the Hilltoppers showcased why they have been the most dominant team in the conference all year.. WKU opened the set with a 12-1 run. Fifth year senior Ashley Hood scored off four service aces in the set, setting the Hilltoppers for a dominant victory in the second set. In the second set the Hilltoppers’ had six service aces and13 kills while posting a .200 hitting percentage in the set. The Hilltoppers won the set 25-16.

To close out their road trip WKU flourished in the final set. The Hilltoppers hit at .542 a clip while holding FIU to a .000 hitting percentage. WKU combined for 15 kills, three service aces, and one block. The Hilltopper defense forced FIU to commit five attack errors in the set. WKU won the set 25-10.

The Hilltoppers’ next match will be their final test of the regular against No. 21 Rice University on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. CT.

Sports reporter Cole McIntire can be reached at [email protected].