WKU plays old foe Cincinnati Tuesday

Heather Boyan/WKUSports.com

Elliott Pratt

One team has consistently given WKU trouble in longtime coach Travis Hudson’s tenure: the Cincinnati Bearcats.

“Year in and year out Cincinnati is one of the best programs in the country,” Hudson said. “Different teams match up well with different teams and Cincinnati has not always been a great matchup for us.”

Hudson’s Lady Toppers are 1-16 all-time in the matchup, but WKU will be looking to change that mark when they play the Bearcats at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Cincinnati.

Senior Jordyn Skinner has experienced those struggles and said Tuesday night’s game will be a chance to reverse the trend.

“We come in the gym everyday and just try to work on our game,” Skinner said. “Coach goes over some of the things that they do, but it’s mostly our execution and our mentality toward the game that we work on.”

Last year’s matchup was especially close. WKU travelled to the Queen City and lost 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-13, 14-16).

“You’d be dancing around it if you didn’t say they’ve been a thorn in our side throughout my career,” Hudson said.

The Lady Toppers will be facing a Bearcat squad on Tuesday which has struggled to start the 2012 season.

Cincinnati (1-5) is coming off its first win of the season, coming against Drake in the La Quinta Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M.

Cincinnati’s Jordanne Scott ended the Drake victory with 17 kills, seven digs and two blocks, while Turner posted 20 kills and four digs.

“Their record is not indicative of the kind of team they are,” Hudson said. “They’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the country up until this point, and they’re going to be another tough challenge.”

  Meanwhile, the Lady Toppers are coming off a tournament sweep at the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, Va.

WKU defeated tournament host Virginia 3-1, Delaware 3-0 and Lehigh 3-0.  Sophomore middle hitter Heather Boyan led the way for WKU in their tournament sweep.

“In practice, we worked on one little thing in correcting our blocking, and that one little thing really helped us,” Boyan said. “It helped me in just thinking about it to get more blocks and be better defensively at the net.”

She was named tournament MVP after posting 20 kills with a .531 hitting percentage versus Delaware and Lehigh.  She also had 12 blocks against Virginia.

“Heather had a breakout weekend for us, and we hope that’s a sign for the direction she’s headed,” Hudson said.

Hudson said that if his offense plays well on Tuesday, this year’s Lady Toppers may be the ones to knock off Cincinnati.

“We’ve been a much more competent serving team to this point in the season,” Hudson said. “…If we serve and pass well, I think we’re going to like our results.”