BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Riding a season-best six-match win streak, WKU Volleyball is
headed to Columbus, Ohio for the Buckeye Invitational to close out regular season
tournament play this weekend. The Lady Toppers will get their first opportunity to
knock off a top-25 ranked team in No. 25 Ohio State in Friday’s opening match before
taking on the always-competitive Dayton squad later in the afternoon. Weekend
tournament play will close with a noon CT contest against Northern Illinois in
nearby by Bexley, Ohio, at Capitol University on Saturday.
Saturday – vs. Northern Illinois (Bexley, Ohio) – Noon CT | Stats
WKU is set to open the weekend slate with its fourth match of the season against a
Power 5 opponent, owning a 1-2 record in such matches, entering Friday’s tilt with
the host Buckeyes (5-3). The sides have meet twice previously in program history
with Ohio State claiming victory on both occasions. This weekend’s match will be the
first meeting between Ohio State and WKU that has taken place in Columbus. Meeting
in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and ’13 OSU won the first gathering 3-1 before the
second get-together went the distance.
The Buckeyes are the third NCAA Tournament team that the Lady Toppers will face in
the span of four matches after taking down [RV] Pittsburgh followed by a sweep of
Lipscomb in the past week. Advancing to the second round of The Dance last year,
Ohio State returns nine of 15 letterwinners and lost just one starter and the libero
from that squad. Action can be streamed on BTN Plus.
Tough competition awaits the Red and White in the second match of the weekend lineup
as well with WKU facing Dayton, another squad that was among the final 64 standing
last season. The Flyers are off to a 7-4 start this season and return all six
starters and the libero from last season’s 30-2 unit. WKU and Dayton were two of
just three teams across the nation to win every away match they played on the 2016
slate. In seven prior meetings, WKU owns a slim 4-3 advantage while the series is
even at 2-2 in neutral settings. WKU’s matchup with Dayton will be streamed live on
Ohio State’ Women’s Volleyball Facebook page.
Weekend competition will close on Saturday from Bexley, Ohio’s Capitol University
due to a home Ohio State football game. WKU will face off against the Northern
Illinois Huskies. Off to a deceiving 1-11 start, Northern Illinois returns three
starters from its 2016 NCAA Tournament squad that posted a 25-6 record.
WKU will look to continue its hot streak this weekend and improve upon its current
10-2 record. While the Lady Topper offense hasn’t been as dominant as usual over the
past week, the Red and White block seems to have grown. With just one front-row
player registering significant playing time listen a 6’1″ or taller, WKU Volleyball
has built one of the toughest blocks to get around in the nation as of late. Prior
to last weekend’s Holiday Inn University Plaza Invite, WKU averaged 1.81 blocks per
set as a team. One week later, the squad owns a 2.50 rate, skyrocketing through the
NCAA ranks from 221st up to 54th.
Following the weekend tournament, WKU will have a six-day break before opening
Conference USA action on the road at Florida Atlantic on Sept. 22.
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.