Lady Toppers volleyball open season with 6-4 record

The month of September has bode quite well for the Hilltopper Volleyball squad, as they have opened the season with a very respectable 6-4 record.

Their season opened the weekend of Sept. 3 at the Wayne State Invitational in Detroit, Michigan, in which West Liberty took on the likes of East Stroudsburg University, Walsh University, Wayne State University and Daemen College.

Against East Stroudsburg University, West Liberty won the contest three sets to one. They were able to weather a rocky start after East Stroudsburg won the first set 25-19. The Hilltoppers then held East Dtroudsburg under twenty points in each of the next three sets. Following their first set loss, the Hilltoppers won the next three sets by the final scores of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-18. Madison Clayton, to no surprise, led her team in overall kills with twenty-one, while also leading the team in blocks with 4. Jenna Caskey logged an impressive 3 aces, while Kirsten Bogunovich attributed a staggering twenty-three assists. Nyia Setla also led the team with seventeen digs.

Against Wayne State, the Hilltoppers suffered their first loss of the season. West Liberty was unable to gain any momentum, as they were swept in the matchup three sets to zero. Wayne State showed their dominance, with the set finals of 25-14, 25-17 and 25-17.

A quick turnaround allowed West Liberty to find themselves back in the win column with their matchup against Walsh. The victory against Walsh did not come without a gritty battle, as this matchup went the best-of-5 distance. Walsh won the first set out of the gate by the final of 25-13, but the Hilltoppers bounced back in a thrilling way, winning the next two sets 27-25 and 26-15. Walsh was able to successfully force a fifth set by winning the fourth set, 25-14. West Liberty then sealed the deal in the fifth and final set, winning by the final of 15-12.

Clayton was once again the headliner, leading her team with 10 kills and 9 blocks. Bogunovich once again did great work in the assist column, logging twenty-three, but it was Setla once again who kept the Hilltoppers in it, logging an impressive thirty-two digs.

The Hilltoppers finished the Wayne State Invitational with a loss to Daemen College, finishing the weekend with a 2-2 record.

They then made quick work of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, winning three sets to zero, and Salem University, also winning three sets to zero. While sweeping the sets 25-23, 25-21 and 25-16 against the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the impressive stat lines that stand out are Haley Zeck’s thirteen assists and Setla’s eighteen digs. Setla once again logged eighteen digs, while Caskey tallied nine aces against Salem University with the final set scores of 25-11, 25-14 and 25-12.

With a win against Shippensburg (three sets to two) and a loss against Bloomsburg (zero sets to three), the Lady Hilltoppers look to put together a long string of wins to separate themselves from the rest of the MEC in out of conference play. As a matter of fact, the Hilltoppers have quite the ways to go until conference play begins. The first conference matchup for the team begins against Notre Dame College, Ohio at home on Sept. 28.

While the Hilltoppers are doing a fine job thus far with out of conference play, the team is undoubtedly looking forward to MEC action. Their final matchup before conference play begins will be against Tiffin University on Sept. 21, then the real battle begins with sixteen straight MEC matchups.
Make sure to come support the team as they look to continue their success.