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Student athlete spotlight: WKU volleyball gears up for next season

Dominic Di Palermo
Rightside hitter Kenadee Coyle (33) spikes a ball over the net during a match against Florida International University at the E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.

WKU Volleyball has made their mark as a mid-major power in collegiate volleyball. 

 11 NCAA tournament appearances, 10 conference tournament championships and 376 wins since 2011 making it the most wins in the nation. WKU volleyball built on its strong history with a 30-5 overall record in the 2023 season.  

 Junior right side hitter Kenadee Coyle grew up in a basketball family and wanted to find a sport she was passionate about. Coyle started playing volleyball when she was in high school. 

 Coyle’s attraction to WKU stemmed from head coach Travis Hudson. 

 “When he was recruiting, he was one of the only coaches that treated me like a human and understood how stressful the recruiting process can be on a 16-year-old,” Coyle said. “He made it easier to create a relationship dynamic with him because he was so relaxed in the beginning and so I felt like coming here was what my experience was going to be.”  

Freshman middle hitter Gabby Weihe started playing volleyball when she was 11. She was also drawn to WKU because of Hudson.  

 “The coach is the ultimate teller of the program. With the way that he communicates with us and even our coaching staff communicates with us.” Weihe said.  

 The team has been in Spring Season since February. Coyle and Weihe both agreed that the season can be rigorous. The team practices and trains all the small details to help better their game, taking their time with conditioning and working on self-responsibility 

 “Spring season is whenever we are in the “I’m gonna get better mode,” Coyle said. “It’s all about developing yourself physically, developing yourself mentally, and developing pieces of your game that you didn’t have.”  

 Weihe said she has learned more than she could ever learn.  

 “It just slows everything down [spring season] in a way that is mundane and it kind of kills you sometimes,” Weihe said. “It’s exactly what every player needs.”  

 Coyle is heading into her last season with WKU Volleyball. In the 2023 season, she had 264.5 points, 227 kills on attack, and only 61 errors on attack.  

 During a matchup against UTEP last season, Coyle scored 19 points, earning a new career high with 18 kills in a match and hitting .621. Coyle was named Conference-USA offensive player of the week.  

 “I don’t want to go out of volleyball for the last time ever without having any regrets or doing anything that I wish I could have done,” Coyle said. “Every day is going to be the best day that I’ve had and I’m going to get better until I have no time left.” 

 Preparing for next season, Coyle and Weihe said Coach Hudson relies heavily on the girls gaining self-accountability. 

 “It’s not just like holding each other accountable but to hold ourselves accountable,” Weihe said. “It’s definitely an individual approach… because there’s a lot of things we have to work on as a team but our need right now is super position based and getting better at ourselves before we put it together.”  

 Coyle and Weihe both conveyed the message that the team loves the support from the community at WKU and Bowling Green.  

 “Nothing makes game day more special than the faces in the crowd and getting to communicate with you guys…even if we lose, it’s so obvious to see how much people are really enjoying it and that really helps make it all worth it especially when there are really hard days.” Coyle said. 

 The 2024 season schedule has not been published.  

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