WKU volleyball hits the road for Halloween matchup with UAB

WKU volleyball vs Rice on Sept 28 at Diddle Arena. WKU won in five sets. Brandon Carter/Herald

Jonah Phillips

The Lady Toppers volleyball team is set to hit the road and spend Halloween in Birmingham, Alabama taking on conference foe UAB (6-19, 3-7) at 7 p.m. CT.  

WKU (22-5, 10-1 Conference USA) has won 11 of its previous 12 matches and sits at No. 2 in the C-USA, losing only to unbeaten UTSA (15-7, 11-0).

“I’m just so proud of them,” Head Coach Travis Hudson said. “I think a lot of the fans in this community think we just put on a volleyball jersey and just go out and win — that it just works like that. It doesn’t, and the fact that this team — full of youth and coming in and replacing some of the all-time greats of this program — the fact that this team is 22-5 may be one of the best seasons we’ve had.”  

Hudson’s youthful squad consistently has three to four freshmen on the floor at any time, and they sit at No. 34 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll and at No. 38 in the NCAA RPI rankings.

This marks the fourth week this season WKU has received votes from the AVCA poll, and the third week in a row. WKU has received votes at least once in the last four seasons.

WKU, Colorado State and Liberty are the only teams in Division I to register 22 wins this season.

The team’s win-loss percentage is 24th, tied with Liberty at .815. In team statistics, WKU is 14th in hitting percentage with a .280 clip. WKU has finished the past four seasons ranked in the top 10 in that category. The squad is also ranked in the top 40 in kills per set (34), assists per set (35) and blocks per set (39).

Senior middle hitter Heather Boyan enters the contest as the reigning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. To add to her tally, the middle hitter has recorded just two attack errors in the last five games and posted a .469 hitting clip this weekend.

“(Friday) was one of Heather’s best performances of the season, and not just because she hit at a high percentage,” Hudson said. “Heather probably made 10 plays on balls that were chipped over the net. She just stayed engaged in every play we made, and I was just really, really pleased in the way she played.”

Boyan notched 13 blocks last weekend, tallying five in the Lady Toppers’ sweep of FIU and eight against Florida Atlantic.

The FAU game marked the eighth time this season Boyan registered five blocks or more. She has now posted five or more blocks this season in eight games, including six during conference play.