BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – For the first time in WKU Volleyball history, the Lady Toppers
will play both the conference and NCAA Tournament in the same state as the Lady
Toppers are set to take on Notre Dame in Lexington to open NCAA Tournament play.
Earning the Conference USA automatic bid to The Dance after winning their
fourth-straight C-USA Tournament on its home court this year, the Red and White will
take on the at-large selection Fighting Irish on Friday from Memorial Coliseum at 4
WKU Volleyball is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance – fourth-straight – in
program history with head coach Travis Hudson at the helm for each trip. This year’s
senior class is the first group in Lady Topper Volleyball history to appear in the
NCAA Tournament all four seasons of their careers on The Hill.
After traveling west the past two seasons to Utah and California, WKU is staying in
state for NCAA postseason action for just the second time in program history. Back
in 2005, the Lady Toppers traveled to Louisville for The Dance as well.
Three of the Red and White’s own – Mary Martin, Hallie Shelton and Darby Music – get
to play collegiate ball for the first time in their hometown of Lexington. Earlier
this season, Alyssa Cavanaugh also got to play her first collegiate match back in
her hometown of Louisville as well.
Looking at Friday afternoon’s matchup, Notre Dame owns one of the top-15 defenses
across the country this season with the 12th-most digs among all squads while WKU
boasts the second most efficient offense in all of Division I. The Lady Toppers are
averaging a .335 hitting clip on the year while the Fighting Irish have allowed just
six teams to hit above .200 on the season.
Notre Dame (22-9, 12-8 ACC), returned six of seven starters from last year’s 22-10
campaign. In total, the Fighting Irish saw 12-of-14 letterwinners return while
adding four newcomers.
WKU and Notre Dame crossed paths with a few of the same opponents over the season.
Both squads met up with Ohio State, WKU swept the Buckeyes while the Fighting Irish
split two decisions with OSU. Additionally, the Red and White took down Pittsburgh
in five sets while the Panthers swept Notre Dame. Both sides also dropped decisions
to Co-ACC Champion Louisville.
With a victory, WKU would advance to Saturday’s Second Round match against the
winner of No. 4 Kentucky and East Tennessee State. First serve of that contest will
go up at 6 p.m. CT, from Memorial Coliseum.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Volleyball, follow
the team on Twitter at @WKUVolleyball and head coach Travis Hudson at @TravisHudsonWKU.