Hudson captures NCAA volleyball milestone with 600 wins

WKU head coach Travis Hudson embraces his team after beating Middle Tennessee 3-0 to give Hudson his 600th career win in E.A. Diddle Arena on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

Casey McCarthy

WKU’s volleyball coach has now done something that no Conference USA volleyball coach has ever done before.

Head coach Travis Hudson became the first coach in C-USA history to win 600 matches. He also became the 19th active Division I coach to achieve the feat and the 58th coach to reach the 600 mark all time. That 600th win came when WKU defeated Middle Tennessee State 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-19) at home to open C-USA play.

“It’s been a trying year for me and my family in a lot of ways, and it’s nice to have a night where something good is going on,” Hudson said. “I’m just so blessed to have this life that I’ve lived and have been able to do it here in Bowling Green and at the school that I attended and call home.”

This milestone is part of what has been an eventful year for Hudson. The Lady Topper head coach suffered a heart attack in April but has recovered to remain the team’s head coach for a 24th season.

“When you realize where this program has come from and all the amazing kids who have come through here and I’ve watched grow up and grow into young women,” Hudson said, “I’m certainly appreciative.”

With 15 regular season conference titles and nine conference tournament titles, Hudson had a .744 winning percentage coming into the season. The Lady Toppers added two more wins to its tally this weekend, moving to 11-5 on the year, and giving Hudson his 601st win.

Senior Rachel Anderson said the number of former players and people from the community that came to support Hudson show the type of coach he’s been in his time on the Hill.

“It’s just so awesomethe accomplishments he’s had,” Anderson said. “To be here the past, almost going on four, yearsand all the wins that we’ve had, multiple 20-win seasons, and every year when we set goalswe have such high expectations because we have so much trust in him.”

In Hudson’s 600th win on Friday, a sweep of MTSU, five WKU players recorded five or more kills, with freshman Lauren Matthews leading the team with nine. Freshman Payton Frederick led the team with 11 digs.

The Lady Toppers also defeated Charlotte 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 25-12, 23-25, 15-10) to move to 2-0 in C-USA play Sunday. Both Matthews and Anderson recorded 20 kills to lead WKU, while freshman Kayland Jackson finished with nine.

Four WKU players finished with double-digit digs, as Frederick led the team with 18. Frederick has now recorded double-digit digs in five straight matches.

The Lady Toppers will return to the road after nine straight matches as they face Southern Miss on Thursday, Sept. 27, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Reporter Casey McCarthy can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected].