Dedicated WKU volleyball parents logging high mileage

Bill Moran hugs his daughter Kacy Moran after WKU’s win over Troy last weekend. Bill and his wife drive from Plymouth, Mich., to watch Kacy play home matches — something many other WKU volleyball parents also do.

Lucas Aulbach

You would think an eight-hour drive from Chicago would be enough to keep Ann Williams from coming to WKU home volleyball matches. 

But the long drive doesn’t stop the mother of senior middle hitter Lindsay Williams from making the trip.

“I’m a night owl so the drive doesn’t really bother me,” she said. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I love watching the girls compete and support each other.”

Even Williams’ daughter wonders how she does it.

“She’s a trooper,” said senior middle hitter Lindsay Williams. “She’ll go to work all day on Thursday, get off at five, drive here, get here at like three o’clock in the morning just to come see the game. Every time she gets here I’m just like, ‘Oh Mom, I’m so sorry but thank you.’”

Williams is one of several volleyball parents who drives several hours to see the team play.

While most of the athletes on the team come from Kentucky and Indiana, some of the athletes’ families face farther drives to attend matches at Diddle.

Williams, from Chicago, junior outside hitter Jordyn Skinner and junior defensive specialist Kacy Moran, both from Michigan, have their parents in the stands for most home matches.

Head Coach Travis Hudson said the parents’ dedication is one of the biggest factors in bringing the team together.

“Something that I really try to consciously create within our program is that we’re a family,” he said. “We really try to be inviting to all of our parents to be a part of what we do here and it really shows. Every set of parent has 12 kids on this team, if you know what I mean.”

Kris Skinner, mother of Jordyn Skinner, travels with her husband nearly eight hours — a total of 520 miles — from Grand Rapids, Mich., each match to watch her daughter play.

She agreed with Hudson and said all of the families have bonded over their years of traveling.

“Everyone on the team is really friendly and encouraging,” she said. “All the parents meet at the beginning of the year and get to know each other and everyone really treasures it.”

Bill Moran travels with his wife to all of the weekend matches at Diddle Arena to see their daughter, Kacy Moran, play. It’s a six- or seven-hour drive from their home in Plymouth, Mich.

“It’s exhausting but it’s worth it,” he said. “All of the kids are fun, and after you do it 25 times it’s almost routine.”

Kacy Moran said having her family in the stands encourages her to do better.

“It’s just so good to know that they support me and still want me to do well,” she said. “Them coming down here really motivates me to do my best. I always want to walk out of the gym looking at them like, that was a good game.”

That added motivation certainly hasn’t hurt the Lady Toppers this season. WKU is 19-2 overall, 6-1 in the Sun Belt and ranked No. 30 in the country in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll.

Ann Williams said WKU’s success makes the constant travel that much more worthwhile.

“I’m so happy to see them all do as well as they’ve been doing,” she said. “Everyone works so hard and is so dedicated.”

All three families are expecting to be in attendance for the Lady Toppers’ home matches this weekend. WKU will take on Florida International at 6 p.m. Friday and face Florida Atlantic at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Despite the fact that the Lady Toppers swept both teams earlier this season, Lindsay Williams said they wont take either team lightly.

“They’re both getting better every week,” she said. “You see them playing other teams and it all depends on how we do and what their mentality is. It could go either way.”