Nov. 27, 2002
Bowling Green, Ky. - With the 2002 fall season having run its course, Western Kentucky University is in prime position to repeat as the top program in the Sun Belt Conference. The Hilltoppers, winners of the 2001-02 Vic Bubas Cup, are sitting atop the fall standings for the 2002-03 Cup with a combined score of 36 points from their four fall sports.
Western received 10 points apiece from their men's and women's cross country teams, who both finished second in the Sun Belt Conference Championships. The volleyball team earned 11 points, which was a combination of their first-place finishes in the division and conference tournament. The women's soccer team earned five points for their play during the regular season.
Three teams sit within five points of the first-place Hilltoppers. North Texas, which has five fall sports, leads the challengers with 35 points. Arkansas-Little Rock sits third with 32 points, compliments of first-place finishes from their men's and women's cross country teams as well as a third-place finish from their volleyball squad. New Mexico State rounds out the trio with 31 points, thanks in part to a second-place finish in volleyball.
The Bubas Cup is given to the athletic program displaying overall excellence in the league's 18 sports. For a sport to qualify for points in the standings, at least four memeber schools must sponsor the sport and compete in its championship. Points are awarded based on the number of universities sponsoring the sport. WKU won the Bubas Cup for the second time last year, their first all-sports championship since 1987.