Volleyball looks to topple No. 23 Western Kentucky in a two game series

Freshman setter Gianna Tagoa'i preparing to set up her teammate on offense. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director

The FIU volleyball team is traveling to Bowling Green, Kentucky to take on the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers in a two game series, starting on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023.

In the midst of a three game win streak, the Panthers are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Oct. 28. Senior outside hitter Jade Sadeiko led their offensive attack and accumulated 21 kills on a 40.5% hitting percentage.

Sweeping JSU in the two game series, they improved their record to 12-14 on the season. While negative in their win percentage, they hold a 8-4 record against Conference USA opponents.

Bolstering a 22-4 record this season, WKU is ranked No. 23 in the NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball top 25 rankings. They also hold an undefeated 12-0 conference record, conquering whoever enters their path.

Taking a 3-0 victory over the LA Tech Bulldogs in their match on Oct. 28, the Lady Toppers pushed their winning streak to 17 consecutive games.

Fifth year outside hitter Paige Briggs shouldered the offensive load and collected 15 kills. Efficient in her attack, she notched a 53.6% hitting percentage on a total of 28 attempts.

Historically, WKU has dominated FIU and has won 33 out of their 41 total matchups. 

Currently, the Panthers have lost 14 consecutive matches against them and have not won a game since Nov. 18, 2011.

If they want to snap their losing streak that has spanned over a decade long, they need to be efficient on offense and keep up with their opponent.

This season, the Lady Toppers have accumulated a total of 1,202 kills and average 13.7 kills per set. Scoring at a high clip, it doesn’t come at the expense of efficiency, as they hold a 30.4% hitting percentage as a team.

Working together as a team, they have almost as many assists as they do kills this season. Totaling 1,117 assists, they average 12.7 assists per set and facilitate scoring for every player.

Defensively they don’t make many errors, as they average only one reception error per set. 

Besides receiving the ball, WKU doesn’t allow their opponents to score anywhere as frequently as them. They hold opposing teams to an average of 10.9 kills per set and a 16.1% hitting percentage.

FIU on the other hand has totaled 1,079 kills and averages 11.6 kills per set this season. Comparatively less efficient, they hold a 21% team hitting percentage and over 100 more errors.

Unable to help themselves defensively, they’ve allowed an average of 12.8 kills per set and surrendered a 22% hitting percentage to opposing teams.

Looking to take down a nationally ranked team, the FIU volleyball team is taking on the WKU Lady Toppers in a two game series, starting on Nov. 3, 2023.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.


WKU: 3

FIU: 1

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