- WKU def. Belmont 3-0, (25-16, 25-22, 25-19)
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Curb Event Center
- Attendance: 591
- Match Stats
Western Kentucky swept through Belmont to improve their overall record against the Bruins to 19-0.
The Lady Toppers jumped out to a 6-1 lead to start off the match and continued to extend the lead to 14-6. WKU continued to stomp down on the Bruins to take the first set 25-16 to open the match. The second set of the match began much the same as the first, with WKU jumping out to an early 8-2 lead. They extended the lead to 13-8 but that quickly disappeared as Belmont made a push back to tie things up at 16 all. The Lady Toppers were able to hold on to take a close second set at 25-22.
Belmont turned things around in the third set to take the early 5-2 lead before WKU fought back to tie things up mid-set 14-14. The Lady Toppers finished the match going on an 11-5 run, with Alyssa Cavanaugh coming out strong in the third putting down five of her 10 kills in the final set.
Rachel Anderson led the Lady Toppers on the night with 11 kills, five blocks and six digs. Cavanaugh added 10 kills and one ace while Jessica Lucas dished out 31 assists and three blocks.
For Belmont, Brie Lewis put down 11 kill and two aces while Arianna Person picked up a match-best 11 digs.
Courtesy of WKU Athletics
Led by a pair of Lady Toppers with double-digit kills, WKU Volleyball swept its second-straight match as the Red and White took down Belmont from the Curb Event Center in Nashville in a midweek non-conference tilt. WKU improves to 6-2 on the season and 19-0 all-time against the Bruins.
“Belmont is a difficult team to prepare for and play against,” head coach Travis Hudson said of the host Bruins. “They are well coaches and play very hard. We had to fight tonight but made enough plays to head back to Bowling Green with a win.”
Out to a quick 6-1 lead to open action from Nashville, WKU forced Belmont to use its first stoppage just seven points into the match. The Lady Toppers went on to extend that lead to 10-4 and then 14-6 at which point Alyssa Cavanaugh tallied an ace from behind the service line to force Belmont’s second stoppage. Sydney Engle‘s first night of the match gave WKU an 18-9 lead before the Red and White closed the frame with a 25-16 victory. The Lady Toppers hit .400 on the offensive attack with 12 kills on 25 attempts.
Second-set action saw WKU Volleyball strike first again as the Lady Toppers jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead and then ahead to an 8-2 advantage. Belmont hung around and WKU’s five point lead at 13-8 disappeared by the first of three ties in the set at 16-16. After the sides traded points, the Lady Toppers strung together three points capped by a Jessica Lucas kill to force a Belmont timeout at 20-17. WKU closed the set with a 25-22 on a Belmont service error.
Belmont came out of the intermission and jumped ahead to a 5-2 lead before WKU battled back and knotted the decisive set on a Taylor Dellinger solo block. After a Dellinger kill tied things up at 14-14, the Red and White would not trail again, scoring eight of the next 10 points to open up a 21-16 advantage. The Bruins hung around but WKU closed the books on an Emma Kowalkowski ace for the final 25-19 margin. WKU closed the match on an 11-5 run. Cavanaugh came on strong to close the match with five of her 10 kills coming in the final frame.
Lucas helped facilitate the offense to a .369 hitting percentage on the night with 37 kills on 84 swings. Lucas herself added a pair of kills in addition to five digs, three blocks and 31 assists.
WKU racked up four aces on the match as Hallie Shelton notched a pair in addition to Cavanaugh and Kowalkowski.
Seven Lady Toppers tallied a kill in the match led by Rachel Anderson (11) and Cavanaugh (10) both in double digits. Engle was next with five followed by Kayland Jackson and Dellinger with four each.
Additionally, Engle led the way in the dig column with seven while Anderson and Darby Music each added six. Lucas and Kowalkowski both contributed five digs.
At the net, three WKU student-athletes registered a trio of blocks or better including Anderson who led the way with five, Jackson and Lucas. Dellinger added two while Engle and Cavanaugh each chipped in one as the Lady Toppers recorded nine blocks on the night.
WKU Volleyball returns to the friendly confines of Diddle Arena this weekend to host its annual Holiday Inn University Plaza Hotel Invitational. East Tennessee State, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis will come to town for the two-day event that spans Friday and Saturday.
Courtesy of Belmont Athletics
A valiant comeback effort in the third set was not enough for Belmont Volleyball to take away a match from a nationally ranked opponent in the Curb Event Center. The Bruins (5-3) were held off by No. 24 WKU (6-2), 3-0, on Tuesday evening.
The Hilltoppers outpaced BU early, forcing the Bruins to call timeout, trailing 6-1. Belmont struggled to find an offensive rhythm for most of the stanza and miscues allowed WKU to grow a 16-8 lead. Even after using their second timeout, the Bruins couldn’t find an answer down the stretch as Western Kentucky handily took the set, 25-16.
The Bruins had settled into the second frame and battled back early to stay in the set. BU began a rally behind a dual block by senior Brie Lewis (Stillwell, Kan.) and freshman Mackenzie LePage (Franklin, Tenn.) and used kills by Lewis and junior Alexa Nichols (Walton, Ky.) to keep the team within striking distance. The Hilltoppers called their first timeout of the match as the Bruins narrowed the scoring gap, 11-7. BU kept surging and used an ace by senior Emily Richards(Penfield, N.Y.) and a kill by Nichols to make it a one-point set, 14-13. The Bruins kept the set tight through the midsection, pushing the contest into three ties. Suddenly, WKU rolled off five consecutive points to pull away, 22-17. Even with a called timeout, the Bruins were unable to slow the point roll. Belmont closed the gap to three points but was edged, 25-22.
BU opened the third stanza with a long rally to win the first point, eventually going up 3-0 before the Hilltoppers could get into the gear. However, the Bruins remained strong in all elements of the game, holding onto a slim one point advantage for the first half of the set. Belmont held on to its lead until it was forced into a 14-14 stalemate. WKU unleashed a 6-2 flurry to pull ahead, 20-16, pushing BU to call a timeout. The Bruins went down swinging in the waning points, earning points from kills by senior Arianna Person (Lenexa, Kan.) and Lewis but it was not enough as WKU took the final set, 25-19.
Lewis led the Bruins with 11 kills and two service aces while Person led the team with 11 digs. LePage and Person each added seven kills in the effort. Freshman Akia Warrior (Fort Worth, Texas) finished with 27 assists.
Belmont returns to the road this weekend, making a trip to Kansas to participate in the Kansas Invitational. The Bruins will see action against Creighton, Purdue and host-Kansas. All matches will have live stats available. A video stream will be available for the match versus the Jayhawks. Fans may also follow the team’s Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.