Western Kentucky’s volleyball team turned in a four-set win Friday night at North Texas to extend its winning streak to 21 straight matches.

WKU’s Paige Briggs delivered a 21-kill, 11-dig performance while Lauren Matthews racked up 19 kills and seven blocks as the No. 22-ranked Lady Toppers improved to 25-1 overall and 11-0 in Conference USA with a 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-11, 25-19) victory over the Mean Green (15-9, 9-3 C-USA).

“I really saw some grit out of our team tonight,” coach Travis Hudson said in a news release. “North Texas responded in the second set as we knew they would. Andrew is such a good coach; they’re constantly making adjustments that we had to keep track of. Our kids continued to grind. In that fourth set, we separated ourselves by a lot of different kids making plays which was awesome to see.”

The Mean Green scored the opening point of the fourth frame and would push all the way out to a 9-5 lead. From there, WKU responded with a 5-0 run to take a lead it would not relinquish en route to a 25-19 set four win. The Lady Toppers worked at a .286 offensive clip in the final frame.

As a team, WKU worked at a .394 hitting clip on the match, racking up 60 kills against just 10 errors on the night. Briggs tallied 21 of those kills while hitting .476 to go along with 11 digs for her 12th double-double showing of the season. Matthews wasn’t far off with 19 kills and worked at a .516 rate on the night while adding seven blocks.

Kayland Jackson added seven kills and a .429 hitting clip while Sophia Cerino added six.

Nadia Dieudonne racked up 50 assists to go along with nine digs, four blocks and three kills in the win.

From the service line, WKU racked up seven aces including three each from Cerino and Hallie Shelton. Ashley Hood had an ace as well.

Defensively, WKU saw four Lady Toppers finish with double-digit digs led by senior Emma Kowalkowski’s 15. Shelton added 13, Logan Kael had 12 and Briggs posted 11. North Texas was limited to a .169 hitting percentage on the night.

WKU will play its final regular-season road match Sunday at No. 17 Rice. First serve from Houston is slated for 1 p.m. CST.

WKU announces 2019-20

track and field schedule

Western Kentucky cross country and track and field coach Brent Chumbley announced the squad’s 2019-20 track schedule, which features five meets in Kentucky.

Chumbley, along with assistant coaches Tim Sykes (distance) and Tosha Ansley (sprints, hurdles, relays), are set to lead WKU for the first time Dec. 6 at the Kentucky-hosted Blue & White Opener before the squads return to action following the holiday break Jan. 10.

WKU will kick off the indoor season in Lexington with the Blue & White Opener on Dec. 6. Five weeks later, the Hilltoppers will return to Kentucky’s campus for the Jim Green Invitational on Jan. 10-11. The following two weekends, WKU will head to Samford and Marshall, respectively.

WKU will return to Marshall for a meet from Feb. 7-8 before making a second visit to Samford (Feb. 14-15) as well. WKU will close its indoor slate at the Conference USA Championships on Feb. 22-23 in Birmingham, Ala.

One month later, WKU Track & Field will commence its outdoor season at Georgia Tech’s Yellow Jack Invitational from March 20-21. After a weekend off, the Tops will host their annual Hilltopper Relays from April 3-4.

From there, WKU will head to Oxford, Miss., for the Ole Miss-hosted Joe Walker Invitational. After a week off, WKU will stay in-state for its final two meets. From April 24-25, the Hilltoppers will head to Louisville for the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Open before closing their regular-season slate at the UK Invitational on May 1-2.

WKU will head to San Antonio, Texas, for the Conference USA Outdoor Championships from May 14-17. Two weeks later, the Tops’ NCAA Preliminary qualifiers will head to Lexington from May 28-30. WKU will look to close the season in Austin, Texas, at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which are June 10-13.


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