Lady Toppers set to host FAU to open C-USA play

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

Cassady Lamb

WKU (5-0) volleyball will be kicking off its 2021 Conference USA portion of the schedule this weekend. The Lady Toppers are scheduled to face off against Florida Atlantic University (0-2) on Feb. 6-7. Both games will be played at noon.

“I’m just excited about the first few weeks of our season to this point, excited to start conference play,” head coach Travis Hudson said Friday in a Zoom video conference.

WKU holds a 25-0 winning streak against FAU, winning every match played together since 2001. The Lady Toppers lost zero sets in 17 of those matches. This will be both teams’ first meeting since the 2019 season.

“When you look at them they have talent, they have players, they’re a team that will get better week by week without question,” Hudson said. “But I do think it’s an advantage for us to have experience, and be a little bit further ahead than maybe some of the teams that lacked that experience this early on.”

Hudson said the team is focusing from set to set.

“Our biggest opponent right now is us,” Hudson said. “And that’s no disrespect to anybody that’s on our schedule. It’s just a level of play that we’re trying to get to every time. We talked about those individual sets being like an artist with a canvas, and they do a painting and they rip that canvas off and they’ve got a new sheet in front of them and they start all over. We’re trying to take it one 25-point set at a time.”

Senior setter Nadia Dieudonne said the team does not rely on a certain person to get them out of rotation, because everyone is capable, referring to the team as a “dynamic.”

“It’s really important for me to learn my hitters, what they like, what situations they prefer to be in,” Dieudonne said. “Once you learn that and build that right relationship with your hitter, you can see that success in our hitting numbers.”

Dieudonne was awarded another C-USA Setter of the Week award, now with back-to-back awards the past two weeks. She has earned seven of these awards with WKU. 

She held a 6% hitting percentage with 27 assists in her last match played against Evansville on Jan. 31.

Freshman defensive specialist Cameron Mosley said she really likes the attitude the team is bringing.

“I honestly just like the excitement that we all bring,” Mosley said. “We walk into the locker room game day morning and we’re all excited. It’s fun to be out there playing volleyball again.”

WKU students get free admission into Lady Topper volleyball home games. Faculty and staff now receive free admission into Monday home games

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