WKU Volleyball: Lady Tops sweep UTSA for 17th straight win

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Volleyball continued its tear through the 2019 season with its NCAA-best 16th sweep of the year as the Lady Toppers downed UTSA in straight sets to improve to 21-1 on the season and remain perfect in Conference USA action. Lauren Matthews and Paige Briggs peppered the Roadrunners’ side of the court, combining for 23 kills and a .417 hitting clip. UTSA became the fourth team of the season that the WKU defense would hold to a sub-.100 hitting percent.

“I’m really, really pleased with how we performed today,” head coach Travis Hudson opened. “We had a lot of respect for UTSA, coming in, they were in the top-65 of the RPI this week. We know they can play, they have a history and tradition of winning volleyball. We knew we were going to have to be ready to play today and certainly I think our kids were.”

WKU improved to 21-1 to add upon the best start in Lady Topper Volleyball history with its 17th-straight win. The Tops are now 7-0 at the halfway point in league play.

The day opened with WKU striking first and then working all the way out to a 15-4 advantage. After both UTSA timeouts, the Lady Toppers to push their advantage out to a 20-7 margin before the Roadrunners would eventually break into double digits. The Red and White worked at a .379 offensive clip while limiting UTSA to a .030 mark in the 25-10 first set win. Matthews had five kills on five swings in the frame while Briggs added four more strikes.

Set two was much of the same as the Red and White broke out to a 12-3 advantage with UTSA using both of its stoppages by that point as well. The Tops would again own a 20-7 advantage before taking a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-13 victory. WKU racked up five of its 10 blocks in the second frame led by Matthews’ three.

In the final set of the day, UTSA came back firing and would be the first to double digits with a 12-10 lead, forcing the Tops to use a timeout. Out of the break, WKU scored four of the next five points to force a UTSA stoppage. From there, WKU would be the first to 20 by the slimmest of margins. UTSA pulled within two at 23-21 but Briggs would find the floor for her 10th kill of the match before the sides traded points for the final 25-22 margin.

Matthews led WKU in kills with 13 while working at a .522 rate and adding three blocks. Briggs notched another double-digit kill effort as well with 10 to go along with a .320 hitting percentage, five blocks, five digs, an ace and an assist.

Kayland Jackson operated at a .467 hitting clip and struck for eight kills.

The WKU defense held strong against the Roadrunners and tallied 43 digs while holding the second-place UTSA squad to a .083 hitting percentage on the match. Logan Kael notched nine digs while Emma Kowalkowski added eight. Every Lady Topper that saw the court tallied at least one dig.

Hallie Shelton led WKU in aces with a season-best four on the day as the Tops finished with seven in total.

Nadia Dieudonne facilitated the Red and White’s offense to a .323 mark while registering 31 assists along with five digs.