WKU volleyball opens Conference USA play against Louisiana Tech


The new era of WKU volleyball is officially upon us, as the ladies are ready to open Conference USA play, and will do so on the road tonight against the Lady Techsters of Louisiana Tech.

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WKU went 12-4 in non-conference play, including two tournament sweeps and a victory over a top 25 opponent in Purdue, and the team began getting votes in the national top-25 polls. There were some concerns coming into the season, which is expected of a club replacing five graduated seniors with five freshman, but the freshman have proved to come up huge. In replacing setter Melanie Stutsman, Jessica Lucas hasn’t missed a beat, and she’s adding offense of her own to the offense she’s helping out, and had an early career night on Tuesday by hitting .667 with no errors, and is averaging 10 sets per set. Coming into her own is Alyssa Cavanaugh, who was named to the Spartan Invitational All-Tournament Team after recording 33 kills last weekend. Georgia O’Connell, while not a freshman, has successfully taken the libero spot from the graduated Ashley Potts, as she’s averaging nearly 4.5 digs per set. C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Noelle Langenkamp is backing up that title, as she’s averaging not only two kills a set, but also is averaging a block per set and is helping out with digs as well.

Louisiana Tech finished their non-conference schedule going 7-7, and opened conference play with a 0-3 loss to Southern Miss on Monday. WKU and LA Tech have squared off before, 15 times before actually, with the last meeting coming way back in 2000, a 3-1 Lady Topper win.

The Techsters are lead on offense by Rebecca Redgen, who is averaging 3.2 kills/set (157 kills total) and Adria Morales, who doesn’t have a tremendous total kill number (57), but is the only other LA Tech player averaging more than one kill when she plays. Defensively, it’s libero Alejandra Aviles who does the work, as she averages 3.65 digs per set. Up front defense appears to be an issue, as only one Lady Techster – Emilee Dechant – are averaging over one block per set.

With the accuracy of Langenkamp, and as of late, Lucas, the front line for WKU should have a fun day and take full advantage of the poor blocking LA Tech has. I envision a good day for the Lady Tops, and see a 3-0 victory as WKU come back for a match on Sunday.

How do you think tonight’s match will go? What are your keys to the game? Let us know below in a comment or on twitter @WaveTheRedTowel.