WKU ends “perfect” regular season sweeping Old Dominion

WKU Junior Lauren Matthews (5), WKU Junior Katie Isenbarger (20) WKU Senior Kayland Jackson (15) celebrate during the game against FIU on Monday, March 8, 2021 in Diddle Arena. 

Cassady Lamb

WKU (18-0), (12-0 C-USA) ended regular-season play Saturday with an undefeated record after sweeping Old Dominion 3-0. Out of the 18 matches played this season, 15 of them have been sweeps.

The WKU Volleyball program called this season “perfection” in a post-game tweet Saturday.

Junior middle hitter Lauren Matthews brought in 17 points during Saturday’s match, including 14 kills, all while maintaining a .526 hitting clip. Sophomore outside hitter Paige Briggs brought in 10.5 points for the Lady Toppers, nine kills, one ace, and 15 digs. 

Senior right side Kayland Jackson held a .750 hitting percentage throughout the match, obtaining 10 points and 10 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Avri Davis brought in 8 kills and 9.5 points for the team.

Junior defensive specialist Ashley Hood secured three aces and 10 digs. Senior setter Nadia Dieudonne ended the match with 44 assists.

Set 1

Jackson kicked off Saturday’s match with a kill assisted by Dieudonne. 

ODU saw two early timeouts after WKU began to show its dominance in the set. 

Three 3-0 scoring runs within the set secured WKU’s lead.

A bad set from Old Dominion brought set one to match point. The next play resulted in a Monarch point, after a kill by graduate Alessia Sgherza, lengthening setpoint by one play. 

A kill by junior middle hitter Katie Isenbager let the Lady Toppers bring in their first set win of the day with a 19 point lead, 25-6.

Junior Ashley Hood served for the majority of the set, with 18 of her serves leading to points.

Set 2

WKU was the first to get up on the scoreboard in the second set of the day after an ODU attack error. 

A 4-0 scoring run put the Tops up 7-2, this run included two kills by Matthews and was followed by an ODU timeout, the team’s first of the set.

The teams saw a much closer margin in the second set compared to the first, with the largest lead being a nine-point WKU lead.

After two back-to-back ODU errors, the Monarchs called their second timeout of the set. These errors led to a score of 20-14. Following the timeout, Briggs hit a kill, adding to the WKU lead.

In the next play, WKU let ODU claim a point following an attack error. WKU then went on a 3-0 scoring run heading into the end of the set. This run consisted of a kill by Matthews, back-to-back kills by Briggs, and concluded with a kill from Isenbarger, all of which were assisted by Dieudonne.

A kill by Monarch redshirt freshman Madeline Rudd ended the run, and let ODU gain its last point of the set.

Junior Katie Isenbarger closed in on a second set win of the day after hitting a kill, ending set two with a WKU win, 25-16.

Set 3

Jackson began set three with a kill, her # of the match. WKU was the first to see a point in all three sets Saturday.

Three attack errors in a row, which let WKU see an 11-4 lead, resulted in ODU calling its first timeout of the set. 

Following the timeout, Monarch Sgherza hit a kill, allowing her team their fifth point of the set. 

A 3-0 run that brought the Lady Toppers up to a double-digit lead resulted in ODU’s second timeout of the set being called. The run included two ODU errors. 

Jackson came out of the timeout and onto the court and busted out a kill. Briggs then saw an ace in the next play. ODU then gained two points after WKU allowed two attack errors on the court. 

A big block by Matthews brought the Tops one step closer to set point, which was seen in the next play due to a kill by Briggs.

Setpoint lasted one more play after ODU redshirt sophomore Hailey Duncan hit a kill. A kill by Dieudonne closed out the match in the next play, letting WKU see a 3-0 sweep against ODU. Set three ended with a 15 point lead for WKU, 25-10.

The finalization of this match marks the end of the Lady Toppers regular season. The C-USA tournament will be held April 1-3. WKU holds the C-USA East Division title.  

Volleyball beat reporter Cassady Lamb can be reached [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @lambp0p.