WKU Volleyball: Hudson begins 25th season on the Hill

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Travis Hudson is an icon in Western Kentucky University volleyball.

This season is set to be a special one, though, and one he’s ready to get started.

“I’m a little bit invigorated,” said Hudson. “Last year was such a difficult year on so many levels.”

2018 was Hudson’s 24th season as head coach of WKU volleyball, but it wasn’t a typical season, to say the least.

He shockingly suffered a heart attack in spring 2018, only to return to the sidelines a few weeks later.

It was also a challenging season on the court.

The Lady Tops failed to win the regular season league title since joining Conference USA several years ago.

“Our team was banged up. We had so many injuries,” Hudson added. “I was coming off my health issue with my heart attack. Last year was almost like we were in a fog. We were trying to hold on through 2018.”

Despite the rough season, Hudson still managed to notch his 600th career win as a head coach.

Now that “fog” from last season has cleared, paving the way for Hudson to reach the next milestone of his career – beginning his 25th season as the Lady Tops head coach.

“It’s crazy. Obviously I love [Hudson} and everything he’s done for this program and this community is just awesome,” said senior outside hitter Sophia Cerino. “He’s a legend walking around.”

Hudson’s players want to make this landmark season a memorable one for a coach who has meant so much to them, both on and off the court.

“It’s a big deal for him and it’s a big deal for us,” said senior defensive specialist Emma Kowalkowski. “We want to have another 20-win season for him and for us as a team.”

The long-time head coach feels confident that this year’s roster will be capable of getting this program back to the top of Conference USA.

“I feel like we’ve worked hard to get our feet back on the ground and set our feet and be ready to return ourselves to the expectations that we have for ourselves and this community has for its volleyball program.”

WKU volleyball begins the 2019 season with a preseason exhibition at Kentucky on Aug. 21.