Category Archives: Volleyball

Volleyball projected third in East; Elmore named to All-SBC team

By Emily Patton

Although Head Coach Travis Hudson said he doesn’t like to look at the preseason polls, it is something that he will use as a fuel for his athletes.

The Lady Toppers volleyball team was voted to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference East Division by SBC coaches, the league announced Thursday.

Junior Tiffany Elmore was also named to the preseason All-SBC Team.

Western received 51 points and one first-place vote. The Lady Tops were picked to finish behind Middle Tennessee, ranked first with 65 points and six first-place votes and Florida International, who finished with 63 points and five first-place votes.

“I’m not completely surprised,” Hudson said. “Both teams that finished in front of us were those who beat us last year, but they both took significant hits from graduation.”

According to Hudson, the polls are heavily based on last year’s performances, including the reason behind Elmore’s place on the preseason team.

“Tiffany played so strongly for us last year, so it just makes sense we see her on here again,” Hudson said. “She is an all-conference caliber type of player.”

Elmore is the only returning Lady Topper who was named on the All-SBC team in 2009. In last year’s play, she posted a .331 hitting percentage in 114 sets, 94 blocks, and ranked second on the team with 265 kills.

“As the season goes on, you’ll see more Lady Toppers show up on that list,” Hudson said.

Western’s season kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday against Purdue on the Boilermakers’ home court in West Lafayette, Ind., as part of the Mortar Board Premier tournament.

PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL

EAST
1. Middle Tennessee – 66 points (6 first place votes)
2. FIU – 63 points (5 first place votes)
3. WKU – 51 points (1 first place vote)
4. Troy – 28 points
5. Florida Atlantic, South Alabama – 22 points

WEST
1. Denver – 68 points (8 first place votes)
2. Arkansas State – 57 points (4 first place votes)
3. UALR – 47 points
4. North Texas – 43 points
5. Louisiana-Lafayette – 24 points
6. Louisiana-Monroe – 13 points

PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAM

Natalia Valentin, FIU
Izabela Kozon, Middle Tennessee
Cayla Fielder, Arkansas State
Jovana Bjelica, FIU
Stacy Oladinni, Middle Tennessee
Maria Szivos, Middle Tennessee
Tiffany Elmore, WKU
Kacie Wikierak, Denver

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Volleyball

WKU volleyball scrimmage notes

By Emily Patton

I just left the Lady Topper volleyball scrimmage in Diddle Arena’s auxiliary gym.

The team faced off six on six, rotating players in and out on either side of the net, but had one key player missing.

Sophomore Jordyn Skinner, last year’s starter who led the team in kills, sat on the sidelines after being injured in last Friday’s practice. Skinner went down awkwardly on her left ankle and will miss the entirety of this week’s practice. She is expected to miss the next two weeks.

Head Coach Travis Hudson said Skinner is “extremely unlikely to play this weekend” as well.

With the absence of Skinner, Hudson said today and tomorrow’s performances at practice will tell him who he will start in her place.

His options are freshmen middle hitters Lindsay Spears and Janee’ Diggins, who he hopes to “plug holes” to fill Skinner’s offensive hitting role.

Hudson gathered the team around after their first scrimmage set to encourage those same freshmen to have fun, give more energy and be more passionate while playing.

“We just want you to go out and play,” Hudson said. “There is no pressure on you because you’re freshmen. You can screw up as long as you screw up with brilliance.”

When Western goes to play top teams this weekend in Purdue and Northern Iowa, Hudson already plans to start two freshmen — Melanie Stutsman at setter and Ashley Potts at defensive specialist — along with seniors Emily Teegarden and Kelly Potts.

Look for a preview story on the Lady Toppers later at wkuherald.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Volleyball

Lady Toppers win two weekend matches

The Lady Toppers improved to 21-7 (10-3 Sun Belt Conference) this weekend by dominating in three-set victories over both Troy and South Alabama.
Coach Travis Hudson said his team is in a great groove.
“I love the way we are playing out there,” Hudson said. “We are just so relaxed.”
Western beat South Alabama today (25-16, 25-11, 25-12) in a match that the Lady Toppers controlled both offensively and defensively.  Western had a .449 hitting percentage and held USA to .025 for the day.  Senior middle hitter Brittany Bowen and freshman outside hitter Jordyn Skinner combined for 22 kills in the match.
“It was important for me to do well today,” Bowen said. “It was important for my confidence and the confidence of my teammates.”
Friday’s match against Troy was just as lopsided, as the Lady Toppers beat the Trojans 25-15, 25-12, 25-13.  Western hit .507 in the match, capped off by a .609 final set.  
“We were just really, really ready to play,” Hudson said. “We were excited to be back after last weekend’s road trip.” 
The Lady Toppers were led by sophomore middle hitter Tiffany Elmore, who had 14 kills and a .424 hitting percentage.
“She has developed into a great middle hitter for us, especially after coming off of an injury a couple weeks ago,” Hudson said. “This is the first year she has been starting, and she has improved greatly from the beginning.”
Western will return home next weekend for their final home matches of the season, against Florida International on Friday and Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

Leave a comment

Filed under Volleyball

Rogers named SBC defensive player of the week

 

Freshman libero Sarah Rogers has been named the the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week for her effort in last week’s matches.  
The Lady Toppers (19-7, 8-3 SBC) won all three of their matchups last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe, New Orleans, and Louisiana-Lafeyette and Rogers led the way with 45 digs in the three matches. She also recorded four service aces.
Rogers is averaging 3.83 digs per set and leads Western with 375 digs this year. She needs 103 more to crack the top ten in WKU history in only her first year.

Freshman libero Sarah Rogers has been named the the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week award for her effort in last week’s matches.  The Lady Toppers (19-7, 8-3 SBC) won all three of their matchups last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe, New Orleans, and Louisiana-Lafeyette and Rogers led the way with 45 digs in the three matches. She also recorded four service aces.Rogers is averaging 3.83 digs per set and leads Western with 375 digs this year. She needs 103 more to crack the top ten in WKU history in only her first year.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Sun Belt Conference, Volleyball

Lady Toppers sweep Denver

The Lady Toppers (15-6, 4-2 Sun Belt Conference) defeated Denver in three sets (25-16, 25-11, 25-21) tonight to keep their undefeated home record intact.

Coach Travis Hudson said every player contributed throughout the match.
“We are at our best when we bring it from all areas,” Hudson said. “I am very proud of how they played tonight.”
Sophomore middle hitter Lindsay Williams made her first career start, in place of injured sophomore Tiffany Elmore. Williams finished the game with six kills and a .600 hitting percentage.
“Lindsey played a fantastic game for us tonight,” Hudson said. “It just goes to show the kind of depth we have.”
Sophomore setter Lauren Stuckel led the team with team highs of 18 assists and 7 kills.
Western will be back in action tomorrow, facing North Texas at 3 p.m. in Diddle Arena.
-Mike Stunson

Leave a comment

Filed under Volleyball

Lady Toppers still perfect at home

 

Home has been sweet for the Lady Toppers (14-6, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) so far this season. Western improved to 6-0 at home after beating Arkansas Little-Rock and Arkansas State this weekend.
Western began the weekend by defeating UALR on Friday (25-19, 25-15, 15-17).  Western was solid on both sides of the net, compiling a .340 hitting percentage and holding the Trojans to a .094 percentage.
Arkansas State gave Western a little more trouble on Saturday, but the Lady Toppers still came out with a 3-1 victory (25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 25-22).  Western was led by sophomore setter Lauren Stuckel, who had 52 assists, and freshman libero Sarah Rogers, who had a season-high 21 digs.
But sophomore middle hitter Tiffany Elmore proved to be the star of the weekend, totaling 22 kills over the two games with hitting percentages above .630 in both.
Western continues a five-game home stand on Friday, facing Denver at 7 p.m.

Home has been sweet for the Lady Toppers (14-6, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) so far this season. Western improved to 6-0 at home after beating Arkansas Little-Rock and Arkansas State this weekend.

Western began the weekend by defeating UALR on Friday (25-19, 25-15, 15-17).  Western was solid on both sides of the net, compiling a .340 hitting percentage and holding the Trojans to a .094 percentage.

Arkansas State gave Western a little more trouble on Saturday, but the Lady Toppers still came out with a 3-1 victory (25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 25-22).  Western was led by sophomore setter Lauren Stuckel, who had 52 assists, and freshman libero Sarah Rogers, who had a season-high 21 digs.

But sophomore middle hitter Tiffany Elmore proved to be the star of the weekend, totaling 22 kills over the two games with hitting percentages above .630 in both.

Western continues a five-game home stand on Friday, facing Denver at 7 p.m.

-Mike Stunson

Leave a comment

Filed under Volleyball

Lady Toppers defeat Florida Atlantic

The Lady Toppers notched their first Sun Belt Conference win of the season by sweeping Florida Atlantic this afternoon (25-20, 25-17, 25-14).

Western (12-6, 1-2 Sun Belt) was led by sophomore setter Lauren Stuckel, who had nine kills and 24 assists, and posted a .282 hitting percentage in the match.

Leave a comment

Filed under Volleyball