No. 36-ranked Lady Tops to host FIU, FAU this weekend

Freshman middle hitter Sydney Engle, left, and junior middle hitter Noelle Langenkamp block an attempted kill by Marshall outside hitter Cassie Weaver. Brandon Carter/HERALD

Jonah Phillips

Despite dropping a match to undefeated conference rival UTSA this past weekend, WKU volleyball sits at No. 36 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, and the Lady Toppers also come in at No. 41 in the NCAA RPI ranking.

This marks the second week in a row WKU has grabbed the attention of the AVCA national poll, merited by an overall record of 20-5 and an 8-1 clip in Conference USA action.

This is the fourth consecutive season WKU has either received votes or ranked top 25 in the AVCA top 25, peaking at No. 16 in 2013.

Despite moving five spots down from No. 36 in last week’s NCAA RPI ranking, WKU is still the highest ranked team in Conference USA at No. 41.

WKU’s highest-ranked opponent is Cal State Northridge at No. 19, while the Lady Toppers’ best wins are against the Boilermakers at No. 35 and Lipscomb at No. 40.

The second-highest RPI ranking within C-USA is Rice at No. 81 while UTSA (No. 94) and Florida Atlantic (No. 113) are also in the top 115.

The Lady Toppers will enjoy a homestand this weekend when they take on familiar opponents Florida International (6-15, 3-5) and Florida Atlantic (15-6, 6-2).

“It’s just another week, and another chance to get better,” WKU Head Coach Travis Hudson said. “But like I explained to the girls, we are running out of those weeks now. We are coming up on the tail end of our season and there are still things we need to get in the gym and get better at.”

The Lady Toppers have already found success at the beginning of this month against both of these teams, earning two sweeps. However, Hudson doesn’t believe it will be all fun and games this weekend.

“We think that Florida Atlantic is one of the most dangerous teams in the league,” Hudson said. “We were very pleased to beat them in three at their place. They are an up-and-coming team, they play very hard, so that will be a real challenge for us on Sunday.”

The Lady Toppers take on FIU on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. CT before facing the Owls on Sunday, Oct. 26 at noon.