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Western Kentucky volleyball knocks off NKU in five-set thriller on Friday; Thomas More suffers road loss

NKyTribune staff

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Lauren Matthews and Paige Briggs combined for 38 kills Friday as Western Kentucky outlasted Northern Kentucky in a five-set thriller, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-27, 15-9, in the WKU Invitational.

Matthews finished with 22 kills and hit .415 for Western Kentucky, which improved to 11-1. Briggs added 16 kills, including three terminations in the fifth set that ignited the Lady Toppers.

Anna Brinkmann recorded 14 kills and 19 digs for NKU, which is 5-5. Norse setter Shelby Olsen dished out 21 assists and scooped up 15 digs.

NKU’s Miranda Wucherer finished with 24 assists against Western Kentucky. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

It marked the first-ever meeting between NKU and Western Kentucky in volleyball.

Miranda Wucherer added 24 assists, eight digs and an ace for NKU. Abby Kanakry and Laura Crawford each had eight kills. Natalie Hardig led the Norse defense at the net with seven blocks.

Ashton Terrill picked up 15 digs, and Anna Burke — who donned the libero jersey for the final three sets — added a career-high 11 digs.

Western Kentucky hit .180 in the match, while the Norse were held to a .145 clip. NKU had a 12.0-8.0 advantage in blocks, but Western Kentucky had the back row defensive edge with 85 digs compared to NKU’s 80.

NKU closes out the two-day tournament on Saturday by playing reigning Southern Conference champion Samford (6-3) at noon, then concludes the two-day WKU Invitational by meeting Tulsa (7-5) at 4 p.m.

Tulsa dropped a three-set decision to Western Kentucky in the late match on Friday, but the Golden Hurricane knocked off Samford earlier in the day.

THOMAS MORE SUFFERS ROAD LOSS: The Thomas More volleyball team lost a heartbreaker at Life (Ga.) on Friday night, dropping a five-set decision by scores of 25-17, 19-25, 13-25, 25-18, 16-14.

Thomas More is 8-4 overall, 3-1 in the Mid-South Conference. Life — which upset nationally ranked Lindsey Wilson on the road last week — is 11-4 overall, 3-1 in the Mid-South Conference.

Jenna Mummert led the Thomas More offensive attack by hitting .357 with 13 kills and two service aces. Emily Mohs finished with 11 kills for the Saints. Junior setter Maddie Read added a double-double with 19 assists and 10 digs.

Thomas More plays at the Cumberlands at 2 p.m. Saturday in Williamsburg, Ky.

(Information compiled from NKU Athletics Communications, Thomas More and staff reports)

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