Tops sweep away for eighth game in a row as NCAA top conference winning streak grows to 37
MIAMI – The No.21 WKU Volleyball defeated FIU in straight sets on Saturday to sweep their eighth consecutive game for 24 straight wins. The Hilltoppers’ best NCAA winning streaks (37 games) and road (18 games) each increased by two over the Miami Weekend Series.
WKU improved to 15-1 in the 2021 campaign, including a 4-0 mark in U.S. Conference games with the win. WKU is now 38-2 over the past two seasons and 70-4 over the past three.
Over the series, WKU topped the Panthers by 0.353 to just 0.039, registering 30 more eliminations than FIU.
WKU vs. CRF – 25-13, 25-18, 25-17
WKU Volleyball opened an early 4-0 lead before the CRF entered the board on Saturday. After the Panthers recorded a kill, Logan kael returned to the service line for an 11-0 run to push the Tops to a 16-1 lead. WKU would lead to 18-3 before winning the opening set 25-13. The Hilltoppers needed eight rotations in the opening frame.
For the first time all weekend, the CRF scored the opening point in the second frame and would also have their first lead of the series. The Panthers initially pushed double digits to 10-9, but WKU would follow on the next point. A successful challenge by Hudson started a 4-0 run for the Hilltoppers that would push WKU in earnest to 14-11 and force a CRF timeout. After the Panthers closed the gap to one point behind at 18-17, WKU had the final say as Hallie Shelton helped the Tops lead 5-0 to close the 25-18 victory.
Saturday’s second set of action saw six draws and three lead changes, the only one of its kind in the entire series since Miami.
The Hilltoppers quickly took a 10-5 lead in the third quarter with a Kayland jackson killing an overpass pushing WKU to double digits and forcing a CRF timeout. Two points later out of the break, Lauren Matthews crushed another Panthers overpass for an 11-6 lead. The CRF stuck around and led just 13-9 before WKU used a 5-2 run for an 18-11 advantage. The Hilltoppers would ultimately win the set 25-17 while hitting a better clip of .455 in the frame.
Mathieu and Paige briggs worked in double-digit eliminations with 11 and 10, respectively. Matthews was held to a .381 clip that day with 11 kills against three errors on 21 swings. She would, however, open the game 5v5 on kills, topping the 40 error-free kills dating back to WKU’s first game against Marshall.
Briggs hit .348 to go with eight digs, two aces and one block on the game. Mathieu and Katie Isenbarger each counted four blocks.
Nadia Dieudonne facilitated the Hilltopper offensive to a 0.306 hit percentage. She had 21 assists, six digs, three assists and one block.
Kelsey Branger led the WKU defense with 11 digs and three assists. The CRF offense was limited to a clip of 0.087.
WKU hit for seven aces with three from Kael, two from Briggs and one each from Hood Ashley and Hallie Shelton.
Friday October 1 – N ° 21 WKU def. CRF, 3-0
Saturday 2 October – N ° 21 WKU def. CRF, 3-0
The Hilltoppers will stay on the road and head east Kentucky on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. CT first serve against the Colonels in Richmond, Ky. After the middle of the week, WKU will have a weekend off before returning at Diddle Arena to host Middle Tennessee starting in October. 15-16.
- WKU kept their changed roster for Game 2 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 2-0.
- The Hilltoppers have won 18 straight games against the CRF since the 2011 campaign. WKU now leads the historic series 40-8.
- With four aces in WKU’s Friday sweep at CRF, Hallie Shelton moved up to fourth on the Hilltoppers’ all-time ace list with 161. She added another Saturday for 162 in her career. In the last two series against FIU, Shelton recorded 15 aces against the Panthers.
- Lauren Matthews added three more solo blocks on Saturday and now has 112 on his career, just five minutes off the program record at 117.
- Hilltopper’s defense held their first opponent of the season to a negative hitting score as the CRF only hit a -0.012 mark on Friday before allowing the Panthers to work to just a .087 mark on Saturday.
- With this victory, the Hilltoppers improve to 15-1 (4-0 C-USA) over the season and 13-0 in straight sets.
- The WKU’s winning streak in conference grew to 37 straight games and 18 straight road wins with the Panthers sweep on Saturday. The two streaks are the longest active marks in NCAA volleyball.
- With today’s results, the head coach Travis Hudson now has 680-217 during his career.
- WKU Volleyball is now at an all-time program record of 958-492 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.