Lady Toppers set to host Charlotte, Hudson glad to be back in action

The WKU volleyball team cheers after winning a point at the game on Jan. 24, 2021. WKU won all three sets.

Cassady Lamb

WKU volleyball (7-0), (2-0, C-USA) had to cancel its weekend series against Old Dominion last week due to a Tier I positive case in the program. 

Now the Lady Toppers will be facing Charlotte (5-2), (3-1, C-USA) at noon on both Sunday and Monday to resume Conference USA play following the postponement against the Monarchs.  

Heading into the weekend head coach Travis Hudson said he’s excited to be back.

“I know so many things have been postponed and canceled, so we feel fortunate to be on the brink of playing again,” Hudson said. “And we’re looking forward to playing a really good Charlotte team.”

Students will receive free entry to both matches, and faculty and staff receive free entry for the Monday match.

“I think offensively they’re a pretty physical team, so it’s up to us to continue with our technique and make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing and avoid the blocks,” junior middle hitter Lauren Matthews said Friday.

Due to the coronavirus case WKU had to cancel its first date with the Monarchs. The matches were called off back on Feb. 12. 

“[I] jinxed it last week I guess,” Hudson said. “I sat here talking about the Old Dominion weekend and walked out of my office, and 15 minutes later, there was no longer an Old Dominion weekend. Such as the life of COVID, I guess.”

It’s undetermined when those matches will be made up for the Lady Toppers. 

“We decided back in January that every week whatever challenges came our way, we would just roll with those challenges, and that’s what the name of the game is right now,” Hudson said. “It can either be your excuse to not get something accomplished, or it can kind of just raise the stakes on how high level of challenge you have for the week, and that’s the way we’ve approached this.”

WKU has a 14-3 win/loss ratio against Charlotte, and currently has an 11-match win streak, dating from 1987 to the last match they played together in 2019. 

The last time the two teams faced off was Oct. 27, 2019, with the Lady Toppers sweeping the 49ers in an away game 3-0.

The Lady Toppers’ last loss against Charlotte was in 1986. The team has swept Charlotte 3-0 in six matches since then.

“We have really shifted over the past few weeks from focusing more on us, ourselves, to the other team,” junior middle hitter Katie Isenbarger said Friday. “So definitely just defending them has been the biggest focus. 

Isenbarger also said WKU will have to pay attention to Charlotte’s Emani Foster as an offensive threat for the 49ers this weekend. 

Volleyball beat reporter Cassady Lamb can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @lambp0p.