WKU Volleyball returns to the floor Sunday, enters season ranked No. 25 nationally

WKU sophomore Lauren Matthews (5) waves to a record-breaking crowd following the Lady Toppers’ NCAA Volleyball Tournament First Round match against Kennesaw State in Diddle Arena on Dec. 5, 2019. The Lady Toppers swept the Owls, 3-0.

Cassady Lamb

The Lady Topper Volleyball program opens their season on Sunday, Jan. 24, with matches against Mercer and Bellarmine.

WKU will play both matches in Diddle Arena, facing Mercer at 11 a.m., and Bellarmine at 6 p.m.

The program plans to honor the life of Alyssa Cavanaugh before the match against Bellarmine. 

Fans will be allowed to attend matches this season. A 15% capacity limit has been set for Diddle Arena. Tickets for this weekend are available here. WKU students will be allowed entry for free.

“We’re glad to be able to have fans, we’re fortunate that we have an arena that will allow a certain number of fans in,” head coach Travis Hudson said Friday. “We know it’ll probably be the fall [season] until you feel the full effect.”

Senior defensive specialist Logan Kael said she is super excited to begin this season and unify as a team.

“It’s gonna be super exciting having fans in there at all,” Kael said over a Zoom teleconference Friday. “I think it’ll be very fun, and the pros are endless.”

WKU Volleyball enters the season ranked nationally as the No. 25 team in the nation.

Kael said that the ranking does not change who [the players] are as a team.

“We’re starting this season off in the top 25 which is cool,” senior Hallie Shelton said Friday. “It’s just another number and we’re excited to play.”

Shelton, being a senior, said it’s her and the other senior players’ jobs to hold the team accountable.

“It doesn’t matter who’s across that net, it’s our job to hold everyone accountable and hold that standard every time we play,” Shelton said.

Shelton also expressed her thankfulness for being able to play an extra season.

“I feel extremely thankful, being gifted an extra season,” Shelton said.

WKU will play six consecutive home matches before traveling to Old Dominion on Feb. 14. 

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