Volleyball: Lady Toppers overpower Raiders in straight sets
Western Kentucky built insurmountable leads and proved again why it is among the nation’s best teams, sweeping Wright State Saturday in straight sets at Dayton’s Frerick Center.
For the Lady Toppers, it was an exhibition in execution. WKU outhit the WSU .525 to .184, collected 17 more digs, committed seven fewer attacking errors and lost the lead only three times during the match.
The Lady Toppers built sizeable advantages in the first two sets forcing Wright State head coach Susan Clements to call timeouts and refocus her squad. When the Raiders had a difficult time penetrating the Lady Toppers’ front line, WKU kept WSU scrambling- and frustrated- early and often.
“They were very quick at the net,” Raiders’ outside hitter Stephanie Ruffing said. “Their setter was very athletic and could change the momentum of the game, either outside or right side. That really opened up their middles and they used their middles to open up the outside.”
WKU found several openings in the middle of WSU’s defense throughout the match which Clements later attributed to the Lady Toppers’ experience.
“They’ve (WKU) have been in the big moments plenty of times and we have a lot of young kids,” Clements said. “They’re going to expose the middle of the court and come at us from the middle because it’s very hard to defend until you get more experience [and become] quicker.”
Clements said the Lady Toppers’ passing also made a big difference in the match.
“They have a great setter who delivers the ball well, so they were able to get good swings every single time,” Clements said about WKU’s Melanie Stutsman, who finished with 38 assists.
The loss drops WSU to 6-10 on the year, with a match against host Dayton tomorrow at 2 p.m. Despite suffering their second-consecutive defeat in straight sets, Raiders middle blocker Haley Garr said she and her teammates will use the matches they have played in the Western Kentucky Flyer Classic as both a measuring stick and a learning tool.
“Mostly we take away experience,” Garr said. “We’re just out here trying to beat these better teams, and that’s where we want our team [to be] in the future.”