Following a healthy and successful preseason training camp, WKU Volleyball is headed for opening weekend of the 2017 season at the Miami (OH) Best Western Sycamore Inn Invitational. The Lady Toppers will take the court twice on Friday, with matches slated for 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT from Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio, playing Southern Illinois and Miami (OH), respectively. Weekend play will conclude for the Red and White following a Saturday matchup with Northern Arizona at 8:30 a.m. CT.
Fri. Aug. 25 – 10:30 a.m. CT | vs. Southern Illinois | Livestats
Fri. Aug. 25 – 5: 30 p.m. CT | at Miami (OH) | ESPN3 | Livestats
Sat. Aug. 26 – 8:30 a.m. CT | vs. Northern Arizona | Livestats
All three weekend opponents surpassed the 20-win mark in 2016. Southern Illinois posted a 21-12 record and returns three starters and seven letterwinners for the 2017 campaign. WKU leads the all-time series against the Salukis 2-1, which includes 3-1 victories in each of the last two seasons.
The weekend host, Miami (OH), returns 13 letterwinners from last year’s 24-7 squad and will be the first 2016 NCAA Tournament program the Lady Toppers will face this year. The RedHawks made a first-round exit from The Dance following a 3-1 loss to Oregon last season. WKU will look to even the series this weekend as the RedHawks lead the all-time standings 4-3.
Northern Arizona posted a 24-8 record a year ago and marks the third opponent the Lady Toppers will meet in Oxford this weekend. The Lumberjacks return six-of-10 letterwinners from last year, including four starters and the libero. NAU and the Red and White have meet once prior in program history back in 1991 when the Lumberjacks swept the Lady Toppers 3-0.
Four student-athletes will don the red and white for the first time this weekend, as Taylor Bebout, Kayland Jackson, Darby Music and Hallie Shelton begin their WKU careers. On the other hand, five Lady Toppers are set for their final season openers in Alyssa Cavanaugh, Sydney Engle, Amara Listenbee, Jessica Lucas and Maggie Singleton.
WKU returns 100 percent of last year’s offense that ranked second-best in the nation, hitting a collective .310. Two of the Lady Toppers’ All-Americans in Cavanaugh and Rachel Anderson are headed into 2017 at full speed ready to pick up where they left off in December. Lucas, WKU’s third All-American, returns as the facilitator of the offense as well, and has the program’s career assist record within reach.
The Lady Toppers are coming off their 15th-straight 25-win season in 2016 while stretching their 30-win season streak to three-consecutive campaigns with a 30-3 record. The Lady Toppers secured their sixth-straight regular-season conference championship with an unblemished 14-0 record in Conference USA action and remained perfect by winning the C-USA Tournament for the third-straight year as well. The tournament championship marked the Red and White’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002 and the sixth appearance in the past seven seasons.
With the home opener 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 12 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 23rd season at the helm of WKU volleyball.
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.
Press Release courtesy of WKU Athletics.
Leave a Reply