On Friday night, the West Virginia volleyball team returned to the court for their spring season. The Mountaineers fell to No. 21 Western Kentucky in four sets, 3-1.
In the first set of the night, the Mountaineers (8-9, 8-8 Big 12) faced a deficit mid-way through. Behind senior Briana Lynch, West Virginia went on an 8-2 run. Lynch had five kills and one block in that stretch.
WVU went on to win the set, 25-23, after a WKU (14-0, 8-0 CUSA) service error.
The Mountaineers were able to take their first set momentum into the second set, holding a lead late. A run by the Hilltoppers resulted in a timeout by WVU head coach Reed Sunahara. Facing set point, WVU fought for two plays, making it a one-point deficit. Western Kentucky was able to prevent the match from going into extra play, as they finished the set, 25-23.
It was another close score in the important third set, as WVU came back from trailing by 5 points late in the set. The Mountaineers were able to make it a two-point set, as Lynch and Athena Ardila — in her West Virginia debut — produced kills. WKU ended the set before WVU could mount a comeback winning, 25-22.
In the fourth set, Western Kentucky opened up with a quick 11-4 lead. Once again, WVU was able to fight back. The Hilltoppers at match point capitalized on the night winning the fourth set, 25-19, and putting the Mountaineers away, 3-1.
Kristin Lux led West Virginia in kills, finishing the night with 18 against the Hilltoppers. Lux — a junior outside hitter — recorded 43 total attacks in four sets.
Lynch had 16 kills on a 41% hitting percentage. The Johns Creek, Georgia, native had only three errors and six blocks. Ardila had eight kills and five digs in her WVU debut.
The Mountaineers will continue their non-conference schedule when they travel to Washington, D.C., to take on George Washington. The game will be on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. on March 17.