Red Towel Roundtable: WKU Volleyball

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Fletcher: WKU has won three straight regular season volleyball titles in their final three years in the Sun Belt, and I don’t think their winning streak is in any danger when the move to Conference USA is made. No offense to the rest of the schools, but the Sun Belt isn’t exactly a power house in volleyball, and while Conference USA is certainly a step up, WKU should have no problem playing up to the competition. Only three schools won double-digit conference matches last year, and two of them are leaving the conference when WKU joins (Tulsa and Tulane). Even Middle Tennessee, who was neck and neck with WKU in the Belt, had a relatively disappointing 8-6 year. There’s a little CUSA volleyball history lesson for ya.

While people will automatically look to Ashley Potts as the key departure for the Lady Toppers, let’s not over look Paige Wessel, who lead the conference in hitting percentage (.458) and Melanie Stutsman, who lead the conference (and was one of the top in the nation) in assists with 11.64 per set. It’s going to be odd to look out on the Diddle Hardwood and not see those ladies, but returning are both Noelle Langenkamp and Heather Boyanwho finished second and third behind Wessel in hitting percentage, as well as Georgia O’Connellwho I firmly believe is the future of WKU volleyball. She’s like a clone of Potts, but a better all around player (Marcus will give you the statistical low down on the next slide). You also have the experience and versatility of Rachel Engle and Molly Pajakowskias well as a second defensive specialist in Kaelin Grimeswho has been playing over O’Connell in some of the spring tournaments. There’s a lot of senior turnover, but also a nationally ranked recruiting class coming in. Oh yes, and a man by the name of Travis Hudson, who is simply the best guy on the planet is at the helm.

WKU volleyball in CUSA will be fine. Just fine.