BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-With an 8-0 mark halfway through the Sun Belt Conference schedule, the No. 19 Western Kentucky University volleyball team (22-3, 8-0 SBC) will begin the second half of play when Arkansas State (15-9, 5-3 SBC) and UALR (9-11, 5-3 SBC) come to E.A Diddle Arena this weekend.
The Lady Toppers face Arkansas State on Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m. for their annual "Dig 4 Pink" Match while the team will take on UALR on Saturday, October 20 at noon.
WKU ranks in the top half of multiple statistical categories in the SBC. For the overall season, WKU ranks first as a team in hitting percentage (.294), opponent hitting percentage (.154), assists (13.19) and kills (13.94) while ranking in the top five in blocks, service aces and digs. Individually, redshirt junior Paige Wessel is first hitting percentage (.402) followed by sophomore Heather Boyan at second (.362) and junior Melanie Stutsman at fifth (.333). Stutsman also ranks first in assists (11.10) while junior Ashley Potts is fourth in digs (4.52).
Many of those stats also rank in the top 50 in the nation. WKU's highest ranking nationally comes in hitting percentage, as the Lady Toppers' .294 mark is ninth in the nation while Wessel's hitting clip ranks 14th. WKU also ranks 31st in assists per set and 39th in kills per set while Stutsman is 31st in assists per set.
- Arkansas State vs. No. 19 WKU; Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m.; Bowling Green, Ky.
- UALR vs. No. 19 WKU; Saturday, October 20 at noon; Bowling Green, Ky.
- Live stats will be available through WKUSports.com
- Live online broadcast available for the Arkansas State game by subscription on Big Red Zone through WKUSports.com. For more information or to order, visit WKUSports.tv.
- Friday, October 19 vs. Arkansas
- "Dig 4 Pink" Match--WKU volleyball will host the third-annual "Dig 4 Pink" match, and all fans will receive free admission. Donations will be accepted at the door for the James Brown Cancer Center. The first 250 fans will receive a free pink t-shirt and a free pink WKU wristband.
- WKU once again made a move in the AVCA Top 25 Poll, as the Lady Toppers rank 19th in the nation. The ranking is a new program best, and the team has now been in the poll for five-consecutive weeks.
- The Lady Toppers have hit a 14-game win streak after sweeping FIU and FAU last weekend. It ties for the third-longest winning streak in program history, as the 2002 team had the longest at 19 heading into the NCAA Tournament First Round in Hawai'i. The 2002 team will be honored at Saturday's game as 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the Lady Toppers earning WKU's first SBC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance.
- With an 8-0 record in Sun Belt Conference play, the Lady Toppers haven't lost a set in conference matches to extend their streak of three-set sweeps to nine games. The longest sweep streak in WKU history is 12 games in 2005; however, the eight straight in SBC action is the longest consecutive sweeps in league contests for the team. WKU has posted 16 sweeps this season and have won 28-straight sets.
- In the NCAA Division I Volleyball RPI, WKU ranks at No. 33 as of October 16, the highest of the Sun Belt schools. Last year, WKU finished No. 23 in the nation after reaching its highest RPI in school history earlier in the season at 21.
- Friday's match versus Arkansas State will be WKU head coach Travis Hudson's 250th Sun Belt Conference match coached. He ranks second in the league for matches played in the SBC, only behind UALR's Van Compton who has coached 285 matches leading into the weekend.
- Two of WKU's top attackers hit career-high marks against FAU. Sophomore Heather Boyan topped her personal-best hitting percentage with a .765 mark with 13 kills on 17 attempts and no errors while senior Jordyn Skinner hit a career high against a SBC opponent with a .471 hitting percentage after notching nine kills on 17 attempts with one error.
- The Lady Toppers have won 16 of the last 18 against Arkansas State. Along with that, WKU has taken 19 of the last 20 matches against UALR, including the last three meetings.