BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – To kick off the 2018 volleyball campaign, head coach Travis
Hudson and the Conference USA-favorite Lady Toppers will host their first-ever preseason
exhibition match with No. 5-ranked Kentucky coming to The Hill on Thursday.
Action from Diddle Arena will commence at 5 p.m. CT and marks the only exhibition
on deck for either squad.
Record book pages don’t turn very far back to find the last meeting between the
budding in-state rivalry as the sides meet in the Second Round of the 2017 NCAA
Tournament. After the Lady Toppers took a 2-0 lead in the match in Lexington, the
Wildcats fought all the way back and eventually advanced to the Elite Eight.
The Lady Toppers are 4-14 all-time against the SEC program in regular season
contests. While Thursday’s exhibition will not count towards the all-time meetings
between the in-state foes, it will serve as an instrumental training opportunity as
both sides gear up for big seasons.
Exhibition play will not strictly adhere to the usual match format. Both teams have
agreed to play in a cooperative format so each side’s entire bench can gain valuable
match setting playing time. To help both programs gain beneficial experience during
the preseason meeting, extra sets will potentially be added while scoring may be
adjusted as well. Changes will be up to the coaches’ discretion and will be relayed
to fans and followers as soon as possible via WKU Volleyball social media platforms.
Returning All-American Rachel Anderson earned Preseason Player of the Year honors
from Conference USA and is expected to put together a thrilling senior campaign to
cap her dominant career on The Hill. Hilltopper Nation should also get used to
hearing the names Payton Frederick, Ashley Hood, Katie Isenbarger and Lauren
Matthews – all four rookies are capable of making instrumental contributions for the
Red and White in their debut campaigns.
The Lady Toppers are coming off their 16th-straight 25-win season in 2017 while
stretching their 30-win season streak to four-consecutive campaigns with a 31-4
record. The Lady Toppers secured their seventh-straight regular-season conference
championship with a 13-1 record in Conference USA action and went on to win the
C-USA Tournament for the fourth-straight year as well. The tournament championship
marked the Red and White’s 11th NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002 and the
seventh appearance in the past eight seasons. Once in The Dance, the Lady Topper
squad swept Notre Dame – a defensive powerhouse – in the first round to make its
third-ever appearance in the Second Round.
There will one more chance to catch the WKU Volleyball unit in action for free prior
to the Aug. 28 home opener. This Saturday, the squad will put on its second annual
Volleyball 101 and scrimmage. Action will open at 10 a.m. from the main court of
Diddle Arena with an hour long scrimmage before splitting into the kids clinic and
Volleyball 101 informational session at 11 a.m. Parking in PS2 is free as well.
With the 2018 campaign just around the corner, 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 enters his 24th
season at the helm of WKU volleyball.