Troy downs WKU for first time everPublished 11:01pm Thursday, November 21, 2013
Victorious screams and cheers echoed off over every corner of Trojan Arena Thursday night as the Troy volleyball team made program history.
Troy, the No. 8 seed, knocked off top-seeded Western Kentucky in a three-game sweep in front of raucous, rowdy and loud crowd. The Trojans won 26-24, 27-25 and 28-26 to defeat the Lady Toppers.
Troy head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick was almost brought to tears after the win.
“This is by far the biggest win in program history,” Kirkpatrick said. “Western Kentucky is a perennial top 30 team. We have never competed like this before. We had only beaten them one set in all the times we have played them until tonight. We stack ourselves against Western Kentucky to see where we are because they have been so dominant.”
The two teams went back-and-forth all night long, with all three games going in to extra points. The match was tied 26 different times, and the lead changed hands 15 different occasions.
With Troy leading 21-20 in the third game, the Trojans received a marvelous hustle play from senior Alexandra Alexander. Alexander chased a free ball of the court and in to the scoring table. Maria Zelenovic took the volley, and killed it to give Troy a 22-20 lead.
Kirkpatrick said the play defines the effort his team has shown all season.
“We asked them to make one more play, and that one was great,” Kirkpatrick said. “It energized the team and it energized the fans. That is the kind of effort we have to have because we aren’t the biggest or strongest team. We have to work for every point, and that was a great play. It was one of many we had tonight.”
Troy’s win marked the first win for a No. 8 seed over a No. 1 since tournament seeding began in 2005.
The win was also the first ever Troy victory of the Lady Toppers.
Troy was 0-21 all time, with only one set win prior to the three-set sweep Thursday night.
With the win, Troy advances to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Championships against Texas-Arlington. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.