BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With 20-kill outings from both Rachel Anderson and Lauren
Matthews, WKU Volleyball improved to 2-0 in Conference USA action with a five-set
victory over Charlotte on Sunday. The Lady Toppers claimed their 57th-straight home
conference victory after set decisions of 25-22, 19-25, 25-12, 23-25 and 15-10.
“When we defend pretty well, we’re a good team,” head coach Travis Hudson shared.
“Offensively, we were pretty good today, but we just weren’t defending in a quality
way. In any sport, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, if you’re not good on the
defensive side of the ball, you’re going to be in danger of losing on that
particular day, and that’s where we were today, we weren’t great defensively, but we
did just enough offensively to find a way to pull it out.”
WKU improved to 11-5 on the season with the five-set victory while Charlotte dropped
to 11-7 with a 1-1 mark in league play.
Charlotte came out hot in the opening set, using an early 8-3 run to pull away from
WKU with a 12-8 lead. The Lady Toppers regained the lead at 15-14 following a string
of five straight points. During the run, middle hitter Anderson rapidly collected
kills, finishing with eight in the frame.
Second set action opened with WKU taking a quick 5-2 lead before Charlotte hit
double digits first with a 10-9 advantage. From there, the 49ers pushed ahead to a
21-14 lead. WKU worked back within five points of Charlotte, but was unable to close
out the set, falling to the visitors 25-19.
Out of the long break, WKU reclaimed its lead in the match with a quick 25-12 set
three victory. The Lady Toppers worked at a blistering .455 collective offensive
rate while holding Charlotte to a .000 mark.
Looking to push the match to a fifth set, Charlotte hung tough in set and ultimately
pulled out the 25-23 decision. Neither side’s lead ever grew greater than three
points in a frame that saw 18 ties and nine lead changes. The 49ers racked up 18
kills on a .325 clip in the set while WKU operated at a .273 rate.
Heading to a fifth set for the third time in 2018, WKU answered every Charlotte
score. With the 49ers leading 4-3, the Lady Toppers responded with kills from
Anderson and Jackson for their first lead in the set. After trading points, Jackson
and Matthews teamed up for a block and gave WKU the lead for good at 7-6. Taylor
Bebout found the floor for a kill to give the Red and White a two-point lead at the
switch. With an 11-10 lead after a Charlotte sideout, WKU closed the match with a
4-0 run thanks to a 49er service error, a Hallie Shelton ace and two kills by
“You get to start over with a fresh slate,” libero Payton Frederick said of the
fifth set. “We knew we just needed to do what we are capable of and play our game.”
WKU Volleyball is now 3-0 in matches that go the full distance with victories over
Notre Dame and Northern Illinois as well.
Bebout collected her fifth double-double outing of the season, recording a
career-high 52 assists, 11 digs, five kills and three blocks.
Anderson and Matthews each registered 20 kills with hitting percentages of .425 and
.400 respectively. Jackson finished just shy of double digits with nine kills and a
season-best .615 clip.
At the net, Matthews led the way with seven blocks – four solo. Anderson was just
behind her with five.
Defensively, Frederick notched a match-high 18 digs for her fifth-straight match in
double digits. Darby Music added 14 digs while Bebout and Emma Kowalkowski each
added 11. Sunday’s match was just the third contest of the season in which four or
more Lady Toppers finished with double-digit digs.
After nine-consecutive matches at home across the past 16 days, WKU Volleyball will
hit the road for a Thursday night tilt at Southern Miss. First serve from
Hattiesburg, Miss. is slated for 6 p.m. CT.
* WKU now leads the all-time series between the Lady Toppers and the 49ers 13-3.
* Run of the match: A 4-0 run to close the fifth set. WKU owned a slim 11-10
lead in the decisive set before closing the match on a dominant 4-0 run.
* WKU’s win over Charlotte marked the 57th-consecutive victory at home over a
conference opponent for the Lady Toppers. The streak dates back to the 2011 Sun Belt
* WKU Volleyball is now 3-0 in matches that go 5 sets with victories over
Notre Dame and Northern Illinois as well.
* Lauren Matthews and Rachel Anderson each notched 20 kills for the first
time this season. The last time two Lady Toppers registered 20 or more kills in the
same match was November 20, 2016, in the C-USA Tournament Championship match. Rachel
Anderson tied the school record with 31 kills while Alyssa Cavanaugh racked up 24 in
the five-set victory.
* Sunday’s match was just the third contest of the season in which four or
more Lady Toppers finished with double-digit digs (Notre Dame and Kansas State).
* WKU’s 13-block effort against the 49ers was one off its season high and
just the second time the team finished with double-digit blocks on the season.