MIAMI, Fla. – On one of the team’s toughest weekends of travel yet, WKU Volleyball
continued its winning ways by wrapping up the stretch with a sweep at FIU on Sunday.
The Lady Toppers have now strung together 22-straight victorious sets, the most by
the program since the 2013 campaign. Additionally, the Red and White now own wins in
their last 17 matches and have won 32-straight over Conference USA foes.
“We’re happy to get a win at the end of a brutal road trip travel wise,” head coach
Travis Hudson shared. “Our kids are continuing to improve on the defensive side. I’m
proud of the way we played today.”
WKU improved to 21-2 on the season with its 16th sweep of the season and now sits at
7-0 at the halfway point of its Conference USA slate. FIU dropped to 2-12 overall
and 1-6 in league play with the loss.
Claiming the first five points of the day, WKU would never trail in the match’s
opening set from Miami, Fla. After FIU got on the board following a WKU attack
error, the Lady Toppers pushed ahead to an 8-1 advantage before the Panthers would
score again. FIU pulled within four at 11-7 but the Red and White rattled off
six-consecutive points to put the set away. WKU claimed its 20th-straight set, and
first of the match, with a 25-11 victory over FIU.
Set two opened with WKU taking a 3-0 lead and pushing it ahead to a 7-1 advantage.
The Lady Toppers were again the first team to double digits with a 10-2 lead before
FIU battled back, claiming seven of the next nine points to cut WKU’s lead to two.
In the span of the next four points, Rachel Anderson registered a pair of kills
while Alyssa Cavanaugh added a service ace in addition to an FIU attack error. Down
the stretch, the Lady Toppers claimed the set’s final four points, capping the 25-14
win off with a block assist from Cavanaugh and Kayland Jackson. The Lady Topper
defense held FIU to a -.034 hitting clip in the set and a .000 clip through the
match’s first two frames.
FIU came back strong in set three, owning as large as a four-point lead over WKU at
the 12-8 point. Sydney Engle halted the FIU run with a kill before Sophia Cerino
checked in for her first of seven serves as the Red and White used a seven-point run
to regain control. In all, WKU pieced together a 14-2 run for a 22-14 lead in the
decisive third set. The Panthers claimed four of the match’s final six points but it
was too late as WKU won its 22nd-consecutive set of play with the 25-18 decision.
Anderson led the way offensively for WKU, notching 12 kills for her 14th
double-digit showing of the season. The junior worked at a .409 hitting clip with
just three attack errors on 22 swings. Anderson also added a career-high three aces
from behind the service line to go along with a dig and a pair of blocks.
Engle finished just one kill and one dig shy of another double double, recording
nine kills on 20 swings (.350%) and nine digs to go along with three aces, two
blocks and two assists. Engle, Anderson and Sophia Cerino each posted three service
aces on the day, the first time the team posted double-digit tallies in the category
since last season.
Working from the pin, Cavanaugh tallied eight kills on 20 swings for a .350
offensive efficiency. The senior also added four digs, a block, an assist and a
Facilitating the offense to a .326 hitting clip was setter Jessica Lucas. With 35
assists in the three-set match, Lucas and the WKU attackers connected on 51.5% of
the senior’s sets for kills. Lucas added four digs, three kills and a block as well.
Emma Kowalkowski was the only player from either side to record double-digit digs,
posting 14 for her 12th double-digit showing of the season. The libero also chipped
in an assist.
At the net, WKU outblocked FIU 6.0-4.0 with four different Lady Toppers owning two
blocks including Anderson, Engle, Taylor Dellinger and Jackson. Cavanaugh and Maggie
Singleton each added a block as well.
Heading back home, WKU Volleyball will host its next four matches from Diddle Arena.
A weekend visit from UTEP and UTSA is on tap for Oct. 20 and Oct. 22 before Marshall
and UAB come to town the following weekend.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Volleyball, follow
the team on Twitter at @WKUVolleyball and head coach Travis Hudson at @TravisHudsonWKU.