Consistency in sports seems to never be fully appreciated.
Sure, whenever a team wins a championship or achieves a high honor every once in awhile people take notice.
However, sustained success in a sport over a long period of time seems to have a reverse effect. Year after year, a team will turn out very successful seasons, but people start to take them for granted just because they expect the usual success.
That seems to be exactly what has happened to our women’s volleyball team here on campus.
Over the past five seasons, Head Coach Travis Hudson has led the Lady Toppers to an astounding 153-24 record and four total conference tournament championships.
By comparison, the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team has lost 36 games within the same time span, and both teams have played close to the same amount of games.
Of course the Wildcats do have a national championship within that time span, but even with the impressive run the Lady Toppers have been on, it does not really seem like they get the notoriety they deserve.
Their record deserves more than just a couple hundred fans at each game and the casual “Yeah, we have a pretty good volleyball team” comment.
Why more students on campus do not give the team their fair amount of respect is more than likely because of a handful of lazy excuses that do not make much sense.
However, the good news is that this could be the year in which the Lady Toppers could break through even further. This could be the year in which the team will not simply be asking for your respect, but demanding it.
WKU will already start the season ranked 22nd in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason top 25 poll and they will have several chances during the season to beat ranked teams and move up the polls.
With star players like Jessica Lucas, Alyssa Cavanaugh and Rachel Anderson, it is easy to see how coaches around the nation respect the Lady Toppers.
This is not to say the volleyball team does not get some respect around campus. They do have some passionate fans at some of their big games.
However, 153-24 just deserves the best kind of treatment possible.
To play devil’s advocate, it is true that the Lady Toppers have not made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament the past five years, and some fans just are not easy to satisfy.
But if WKU can play at or even better their initial preseason ranking this season, the Lady Toppers will have a great chance to get into the sweet sixteen and possibly beyond.
Nevertheless, no matter how far the Lady Toppers go in the NCAA Tournament this year, these girls are going to pump out another successful season with or without your attention.
Sports Editor John Reecer can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Reece_12_Falcon.