Quotes (with additional player interview video)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-The Western Kentucky University volleyball team (8-2) rallied from a set down to defeat No. 10 Dayton (6-2) by a score of 3-1 (17-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20) in the Lady Toppers' second game of the WKU Tournament at E.A. Diddle Arena after defeating Tennessee Tech (1-6) earlier in the day 3-0.
"Because of the respect we have for Dayton and their program, it is huge for us," WKU head coach Travis Hudson said. "I believe (Dayton head coach Kelly Sheffield) is one of the very best coaches in the country. I think Dayton has proven they medal already this season in the type of team they are. For us to be able to go out and compete, I think is a huge statement for us."
The win also extended WKU's winning streak to eight games, as the team continues play in the tournament on Saturday, September 8 at 12:30 p.m. against Ohio State before facing IUPUI at 5:30 p.m.
Game Two-WKU 3, No. 10 Dayton 1
WKU was led by the swings of senior Jordyn Skinner and redshirt junior Paige Wessel, as Skinner posted 16 kills followed by Wessel's 12. Junior Melanie Stutsman put the offense in gear after collecting 45 assists. Defensively, Skinner led the team with four blocks, including three solo blocks, while junior Ashley Potts put down 18 digs.
For Dayton, Rachel Krabacher tallied a game-high 17 kills while Megan Campbell and Isolde Hannan also joined the double-digit kill club with 15 and 10, respectively. Hannan along with Shayne Brown totaled four blocks each while Janna Krafda had 13 digs.
After a Wessel kill tied the first set at 3 apiece, Dayton got behind its offense to hit .571 for a first frame win at 25-17. WKU stayed close to the Flyers early, getting their lead down to 9-6, but a 5-0 run by Dayton led the team to a 21-11 lead to put WKU out of reach.
The Lady Toppers bounced back in the second set by keeping a tight grip on Dayton. After 12 tied scores and five lead changes, WKU took the lead after a kill from Wessel to force a Dayton break. Out of the timeout, multiple kills from Wessel and Skinner helped WKU to a 23-20 lead while kills from sophomore Heather Boyan and freshman Noelle Langenkamp sealed the frame 25-21.
The third contest saw the teams trading points in the opening sequences. Tied at 6, Stutsman brought the fire to her serve, as four service aces sparked an 8-0 spree by WKU to take a 14-6 advantage. WKU continued the match to hit .333 for the set compared to Dayton's .143 and gained the set advantage with a 25-15 win.
Down for a majority of the final outing as much as three points, WKU worked its way out of the deficit to take its first lead of the set at 19-18 following a Flyer miscue. The Lady Toppers continued to hold their ground with kills from Skinner, Wessel and Langenkamp to close out the win 25-20.
Game One-WKU 3, Tennessee Tech 0
WKU used a three-set sweep (25-20, 25-18, 25-13) to get by Tennessee Tech (1-6) Friday morning to open its play in the WKU Tournament at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Boyan put up 10 kills and three blocks to lead the Lady Toppers while Stutsman followed with six kills and 37 assists. Potts helped keep rallies alive for WKU, as she posted 15 digs in the match.
For TTU, Natalie Penrod collected nine kills followed by Ellen Conti's eight. Kelsey Gray grabbed six blocks while Courtney Smith added 12 digs.
Set one started out in favor of TTU, as after being down 4-2, four-straight attack errors by WKU put TTU ahead 6-4. Out of a WKU timeout, kills from Stutsman and Boyan gave WKU a 10-7 advantage before the home team pulled away from the Golden Eagles 21-15. However, TTU wasn't going away easily after it put up a 6-0 run to get within 22-20, but WKU sealed the win 25-20 after capping the set with three-straight points.
Starting similar to the first frame, TTU jumped ahead 5-1 over WKU after four attack errors on the Lady Toppers. TTU got as much as a three-point lead before WKU regrouped to get its first advantage of the set at 13-12 to force a TTU timeout. Out of the break, WKU gained strength with kills from Boyan, Stutsman and freshman Haley Bodway that pushed the team ahead 23-15 before taking the win 25-18.The final set started close for both teams before WKU put together a 5-1 scoring spree to go ahead 13-9 at a TTU break. Another big run of 8-1 for WKU led the Lady Toppers to a 23-12 scoring favor. Winning the third contest 25-13, WKU had its best set of the match, as the team hit .375 with 16 kills compared to TTU's .094 with seven kills.