Briggs and Matthews combine for 35 eliminations as Tops Down EKU for ninth in a row sweep
RICHMOND, Ky. – WKU Volleyball worked with .404 punch clip and saw Lauren Matthews (20) and Paige briggs (15) combine for 35 kills as the Hilltoppers swept their ninth straight game in Wednesday’s midweek victory at Eastern Kentucky. The Red and Whites claimed another victory in the country’s longest road winning streak in 19 straight games.
The number 20 WKU climbed to 16-1 on the season with the win while Eastern Kentucky fell to 5-14. While the head coach Travis Hudson improving to 5-1 in his career against Eastern Kentucky, he earned his very first victory in Richmond.
Matthews punched for 20 kills out of 29 swings with just one error to work with a .655 punch clip. Briggs joined her with 15 kills and a 0.414 save percentage while racking up 11 digs for her sixth double-double of the season.
WKU to EKU – 25-16, 25-17, 25-21
After trading the first points, WKU started to chain one score and a ground kill from Matthews pushed the Tops into double digits to 10-6. Briggs hit for his fifth kill in the set to take WKU’s lead to 15-9 in the media timeout. The Hilltoppers responded with a 3-1 run out of the break for an 18-10 advantage and forced an EKU stoppage. The Colonels called another time out at 23-13 before WKU claimed the set 25-16.
The Hilltoppers ran with a 0.414 hit clip with an 82% side score (14 for 17) in frame while keeping EKU at just six kills and a .000 rate.
A Kayland jackson kill followed by consecutive aces of Hallie Shelton pushed WKU to an early 3-0 lead to open the second set. From there, Matthews would end a long rally with another kill in full swing for an 8-2 advantage over Hilltopper. With neither team calling for a save, WKU led in the media timeout, 15-10 and Shelton struck for his third set ace out of the break. EKU was fighting in the two at 16-14 before Matthews turned down an overpass. The colonels took another time lag 23-17 and Kelsey Branger would hit for an ace out of the break. WKU won the set, 25-17.
Matthews had seven kills in the second set and Briggs added six.
WKU took another quick lead in the third set, possessing advantages at 3-0 and 11-4 before EKU called a time-out. Back to back Katie Isenbarger the eliminations made the score 18-9 with WKU overtaking the colonels. The Tops took a 21-13 lead to force the hosts’ second timeout before claiming the 25-21 frame.
The Hilltoppers racked up 19 kills against just two errors in the final set while hitting a collective of 0.472. Matthews struck for wins on eight of his nine swings in the set and closed the game with his 20e of the night.
DieudonnÃ© led the Hilltoppers in their fifth game with 0.400 or better this season. The host racked up 40 assists despite being replaced for taylor bebout halfway between series one and three. Dieudonne added five digs and was perfect from the serve line in addition to connecting with hitters for kills on 0.57.1% of his sets.
Joining Briggs with double-digit digs was Hood Ashley, who finished with 10 for his fifth double-digit outing of the season.
Shelton finished with four aces in the game and has nine in his last three outings. She is up to 166 throughout her Hilltopper career, which is 10 aces from tied for third on the program’s all-time roster.
Jackson finished with three blocks while Katie howard and Katie Isenbarger each added two. Jackson and Isenbarger both struck for seven kills with Isenbarger operating at a 0.778 clip down the middle.
After the middle of the week, WKU will have a weekend off before returning to Diddle Arena to host Middle Tennessee October 15-16.
- WKU kept their changed roster for the third game in a row as Paige briggs, Nadia Dieudonne, Lauren Matthews, Kayland jackson, Katie Isenbarger, Katie Howard and Kelsey Branger (libero) deserved starts. The Tops line was his fourth different look of the season and this combination is now 3-0.
- WKU now leads the all-time series with EKU, 10-7.
- Hallie Shelton added four more aces in Wednesday’s game, bringing his tally to 21 this season and 166 in his career. She is 10 aces from tied third on the program’s career aces list.
- With 15 eliminations and 11 recoveries, Paige briggs recorded his sixth double double of the season and 34e of her career.
- With this victory, the Hilltoppers improve to 16-1 (4-0 C-USA) over the season and 14-0 in straight sets.
- WKU has now won 27 straight sets with nine straight sweeps since losing only.
- The WKU’s winning streak on the road grew to 18 straight wins with the Colonels’ sweep on Wednesday – the longest active mark in NCAA volleyball.
- With today’s results, the head coach Travis Hudson is now 681-217 across his career.
- WKU Volleyball is now at an all-time program record of 959-492 with Friday’s victory.
How to follow WKU Volleyball: For full information on WKU Volleyball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUVolleyball and head coach Travis Hudson To @TravisHudsonWKU. The team is also on Instagram and Facebook.