CHARLESTON, S.C. – Behind a double-double effort from senior Rachel Anderson, WKU
Volleyball collected its first win of the 2018 season in Saturday’s finale from
Charleston. Following a four-set loss to weekend host College of Charleston to start
the day, the Lady Toppers responded against Missouri State with a 3-1 victory
as the team began to gel.
“Really glad to get a win for our kids today,” head coach Travis Hudson shared.
“They played hard all weekend long against NCAA Tournament caliber competition. We
are not playing very well right now, but continue to improve every time we take the
Fri. Aug. 24 – 2:30 p.m. CT | vs. Alabama | L, 3-0
Sat. Aug. 25 – 11 a.m. CT | at College of Charleston | L, 3-1
Sat. Aug. 25 – 2:30 p.m. CT | vs. Missouri State | W, 3-1
MATCH 2: [RV] WKU 1, COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 3 (25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20)
Trailing by as much as 18-13 in the day’s opening set, WKU fought back to knot the
match at 20 and take a lead on the following point with a kill by Anderson.
Anderson’s eighth kill of the set opened a 23-21 lead for the Lady Toppers but the
hosts clawed their way back in and tallied the frame’s final four points as the Red
and White dropped another set by the minimum.
After dropping the second set by a 25-16 decision, WKU Volleyball reset during the
intermission and fired back in set three. Eleven ties and four lead changes later,
the Lady Toppers secured their first set victory of the season by a 25-22 decision
over the host Cougars. Down the stretch, Anderson was the Red and White’s go-to with
four kills on the last nine plays of the set.
With things starting to click for the Lady Toppers, WKU opened up a quick 3-1 lead
in the fourth set but the Cougars hung around. Tied at 9-9, CofC was the first to
double digits after a missed serve and stayed just out of reach of the Red and White
for the rest of the set, claiming a 25-20 victory. Neither side was able to string
together more than three points at a time in the deciding frame.
The last time WKU started a season 0-2 was the 2012 campaign, also the first time
the Lady Toppers would advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
MATCH 3: WKU 3, [RV] MISSOURI STATE 1 (18-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-18)
Missouri State jumped ahead to a quick 10-3 lead to open WKU’s second match of the
day. The Lady Toppers responded though, scoring nine of the next 14 points to pull
within 15-12 and force a MSU timeout. Out of the break, the Bears responded with the
next three points and worked ahead to take the opener 25-18. WKU continued to make
strides on both sides of the ball as eight different Lady Toppers recorded at least
one kill and one dig in the opening frame.
WKU responded out of the gate in set two, forcing Missouri State to opt for a quick
timeout after the Lady Toppers struck with three kills, two blocks and an ace to
open the second frame. The Red and White would work ahead to a 23-15 lead before MSU
tallied four straight points to force a Lady Topper timeout. Out of the stop, Katie
Isenbarger struck for her fourth kill before an MSU attack error evened the match at
Out of the break, Missouri State was the first to hit double digits ahead 10-8, but
WKU went on to string together a 5-0 run before a Bears’ timeout to retake a lead in
the frame. That streak extended to an 8-0 run as the Lady Toppers worked ahead to a
19-13 advantage and ultimately claimed the set 25-20 for a 2-1 lead in the match.
The third frame saw WKU register eight team blocks to shut down the MSU offense.
With their first victory of the season within reach, the Lady Toppers got to work in
the fourth set taking a quick 13-6 lead over the Bears. After Missouri State climbed
back within two at 16-14, WKU responded out of a timeout and went on to score nine
of the final 13 points of the match to secure the win.
Anderson filled the stat sheet for the Lady Toppers, in addition to her double
double (13 kills, 10 blocks), the senior added six digs and two service aces. Sophia
Cerino and Katie Isenbarger each added nine kills while combining for five blocks.
Defensively, Payton Frederick led the way with 18 digs with Hallie Shelton and Emma
Kowalkowski each contributing 13.
At the net, WKU racked up 14 blocks led by Anderson’s double digit effort with six
Lady Toppers recording multiple stops.
Facilitating the offense, Taylor Bebout notched 39 assists while adding five digs,
four kills and three blocks for a well-rounded effort.
WKU Volleyball returns to The Hill on Tuesday, Aug. 28 for its home-opener against
Belmont. First serve from Diddle Arena is set for 6 p.m. CT, as the Lady Toppers
look to defend the second-longest active home winning streak (entering the weekend)
in the nation at 23 matches.
With the 2018 campaign officially underway, volleyball season tickets are available
online at WKUSports.com or by
calling the WKU ticket office at 1-800-5-BIGRED. Season ticket holders will receive
15 general admission tickets with the Flexible Ticket Package that can be used to
attend the home games of his or her choice. This plan allows the flexibility to
choose which volleyball games the buyer wants to attend and the number of tickets
used for each game. Season ticket holders also gain exclusive access to pre-game
chalk talks with Hudson, who begins his 24th season at the helm of WKU volleyball.
* WKU is now 1-1 against College of Charleston all-time. CofC is the first of
eight 2017 NCAA Tournament teams on the Lady Toppers’ regular-season schedule this
* The Lady Toppers are now 2-1 all-time against Missouri State, another NCAA
Tournament team from a year ago. Missouri State was receiving votes in the most
recent AVCA poll.
* Rachel Anderson struck for 18 kills in the 3-1 loss to College of
Charleston – her most kills since recording 22 in the semifinals of the 2017 C-USA
Tournament. In both her sophomore and junior campaigns, Anderson didn’t register 18
(or more) kills until the fourth pre-conference tournament of the season.
* Anderson collected her first career double double in the finale – posting
13 kills and 10 blocks. She is just the fourth player in program history with
multiple double-digit block outings during her career.
* Sophia Cerino opened the day with a career-best 11-kill effort and .320
hitting clip (11K-3E-25TA). The junior added nine more against Missouri State.
* Payton Frederick posted 18 digs against Missouri State and reached double
digits in the category all three weekend matches. Emma Kowalkowski also owned
double-digit dig efforts in all three matches.
* The Lady Toppers gained valuable experience in Charleston with 12 of the
team’s 13 players seeing action in every match of the tournament.
* The last time WKU started a season 0-2 was the 2012 campaign, also the
first time the Lady Toppers would advance to the Second Round of the NCAA