WLU Volleyball push closer to MEC title after recent wins


Hilltopper Sports

Nyia Setla in action against Alderson Broaddus.

West Liberty’s volleyball team secured their first Mountain East Conference win of the season with a home victory over Alderson Broaddus (AB). After opening MEC play with a 4-set loss against Notre Dame College, the Hilltoppers were eager to get back to winning ways and kickstart their quest towards a first conference championship.

Their out of conference preparations included a trip to Florida to face some of the top teams in the country as well as a pair of tournaments where they faced off against Atlantic Region opposition. The team won eight of their previous nine matches before tough losses against Daemen and Notre Dame gave the feeling of a “must win” game as they took on the AB Battlers on Friday night in the ASRC.

The Toppers showed no intentions of continuing on their poor run of form as they commanded the first set, winning by a comfortable scoreline of 25-18. The Toppers were led by Kaija Sydlowski who had an impressive six kills in the first set which led the game. Sydlowski finished the game with a season-high three aces as well as nine kills and six digs.

It was much of the same in the second set as West Liberty continued to dominate, racing to a 22-12 lead which included a six point run late on in the set. Sophomore middle blocker Ruby Countryman could not be stopped in the second set as she recorded seven of her 11 kills including the deciding point as they took the set by a score of 25-15.

Head Coach Riley Schenk’s Hilltoppers looked determined to win the game in three sets and secure the sweep over the Battlers to get back in the win column in MEC play. A run of 10 straight points as well as four consecutive service aces by libero Nyia Setla led the Toppers towards their most convincing set of the game, restricting their opponents to just 12 points as they raced to a three-set win.

After losing out to local rivals Wheeling in the conference semi-finals last season, Schenk’s team are determined to push closer towards the programs first MEC title. WLU are seen as the team that has what it takes to put an end to Wheeling’s 10 year streak of being crowned conference champions as they were picked to finish second by the MEC coaches in the recent preseason poll.

The Hilltoppers will face off against the Wheeling University Cardinals next who are undefeated in MEC play so far. Schenk’s team will travel down the hill to Wheeling off the back of a recent 3-2 comeback on the road against Frostburg State University last Friday. The Hilltoppers will be looking to put a dent in the Cardinal’s conference record on Tuesday evening.