Lady Vols Volleyball Fall at Home to #21 WKU

Photo Credit: University of Tennessee Athletics
By Dominic Throngard

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Lady Vols (6-4) volleyball team lost on Tuesday to No. 21 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (10-1) 3-0. 

This matchup saw the Lady Vols struggling hard to find their rhythm in the first set, while WKU was having a lights out display. The Hilltoppers took the first set 25-13 and looked to be in firm control of the match, however the Lady Vols were able to gain back some momentum in the second set with impressive defensive plays and a lot of hustle. Set two nonetheless was taken 25-21 by the Hilltoppers. 

In the third set, the Lady Vols really began to impress as the team surged forward to a hot start causing a WKU time out. The two teams then passed the lead back and forth with intense rallies and great blocking play from both sides eventually getting knotted in the 20s, but WKU finished strong and won the final set 25-23. 

Performance leaders for the Lady Vols included senior Morgahn Fingall who, as always, led in kills again with 13. She also led the team in blocks alongside redshirt freshman Klaudia Pawlik, they both had three a piece. Fellow senior Natalie Hayward provided the most assists of the night for the Lady Vols with 28. Three way tie for digs with Laborda, Lovett, and Boothe all tallying 11. 

Although the Lady Vols were swept in this matchup, they nonetheless showed a lot of fight and prowess in this game. The final two sets could’ve easily gone either way, and WKU is going to be a team to watch this year as they looked very good throughout the matchup. 

Freshman Klaudia Pawlik could become a key fixture on this team as the game seemed to change when she entered play. Using her height she was able to force WKU to change their playstyle by preventing a lot of spikes from going through and they frequently had to lob it over her instead. She’ll certainly be one to keep an eye on as she continues her UT volleyball career.