WKU Volleyball: Lady Tops open season Friday at Toledo’s Blue and Gold Tournament

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Volleyball head coach Travis Hudson has led the Red and White through a successful preseason for the 25th time as the Lady Toppers are headed for Toledo to open the 2019 campaign. WKU will take the court once on Friday with its season-opener against Loyola-Chicago set for 3:30 p.m. CT from Savage Arena on the University of Toledo’s campus. Weekend action will conclude with a pair of contests on Saturday as the Tops will face the hosts at 11 a.m. before closing play against North Dakota State at 3:30 p.m.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

Friday, Aug. 30 – 3:30 p.m. CT | vs. Loyola-Chicago

Saturday, Aug. 31 – 11 a.m. CT | at Toledo

Saturday, Aug. 31 – 3:30 p.m. CT | vs. North Dakota State

Friday’s action will see WKU face off against Loyola, a squad that went 16-14 last season and tied for sixth in the Missouri Valley regular-season standings. The Ramblers return four starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s squad while welcoming seven newcomers to the 2019 scene. WKU is 0-2 all-time against Loyola with meetings during the 1992 and 1994 campaigns.

WKU will open Saturday’s slate with a tilt with the host Rockets. Toledo went 9-18 a season ago, finishing tied for fifth in the West Division of the MAC. UT returns three starters and seven total letterwinners from last year while welcoming six new faces to the program this season. WKU is 2-2 all-time against the Rockets, claiming the decision in each of the past two meetings, which came during the 2003 and 2006 campaigns. The series dates all the way back to 1988 with WKU owning a 1-1 mark when the sides meet in Glass City.

Weekend play will conclude with a Saturday afternoon meeting between the Tops and North Dakota State. NDSU posted a 9-20 record last season and finished seventh in the Summit League’s regular-season standings. The Bison return five starters and their libero from a year ago and 10 letterwinners total while welcoming a trio of newcomers. WKU claimed the lone prior meeting between the squads in a 3-0 neutral-site decision during the 2004 campaign.

Hudson’s squad returned five starters from last year’s 20-10 campaign and eight letterwinners total. During the offseason, WKU added a pair of transfers and three freshmen that are set for their Lady Topper debuts.

Two of the Lady Toppers’ returners were honored by Conference USA earlier this month as Sophia Cerino and Lauren Matthews were both selected to the league’s Preseason All-Conference Team. As a unit, WKU was predicted for finish third in C-USA by the league’s coaches.

After securing 20 wins last season, Coach Hudson and the WKU program have now posted 19-consecutive 20-win campaigns. The streak is the fifth-best active mark in the nation.

The 2019 season also marks Hudson’s 25th at the helm of WKU Volleyball. Hudson is one of just 31 coaches across Division I Volleyball to be leading a team for at least their 25th season. Even more impressively, the WKU veteran is one of just 11 to coach every season at the same school. His .741 career win-percentage figures out to rank second-best of those 11 longstanding coaches as does his 25.4 wins-per-season average.