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WVU Opens Spring at No. 21 Western Kentucky

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 11, 2021) – The West Virginia University volleyball team opens spring, regular-season action at No. 21 Western Kentucky on Friday, March 12. First serve is set for 6 p.m. ET, inside E.A. Diddle Arena, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

Direct links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the volleyball schedule page at

“It was a long break,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “Any time you have that long of a break, it’s tough. But we are back, and they are doing well in the gym. Are we at mid-season form yet? No. The unfortunate thing for us is that we haven’t played a match yet this spring. Western Kentucky has played multiple matches. They have that game experience, and they are in their flow.

“They are a very good team and well coached. Travis (Hudson) has been there for a very long time. He built that program. They have had a lot of success, not just occasionally, but year-in and year-out. They are really good. I remember them when I was at Cincinnati. He does such a great job with that program. They have some good players.”

The Mountaineers (8-8, 8-8 Big 12) and Hilltoppers (13-0, 8-0 C-USA) are set to meet for the second time in program history and the first time since 1996, when WVU earned a 3-1 victory at a neutral site. 

Friday marks WVU’s nonconference opener for the 2020-21 season. The Mountaineers are 6-11 all-time against Conference USA opponents. West Virginia last played a Conference USA foe on Nov. 7, 2018, when the Mountaineers defeated Marshall, 3-1, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown.

Last fall, WVU earned a program-best, 8-8 mark in its conference-only slate. The Mountaineers also were ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-15 Poll three times, climbing as high as No. 13 – also a program best. West Virginia captured its first win over a top-10 opponent, defeating No. 10 Kansas on back-to-back nights on Oct. 10-11, at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena, in Lawrence, Kansas.

WVU finished the fall season with 12.1 kills per set and 14.3 digs per set. Senior Briana Lynch paced the team with a .340 hitting efficiency, while classmate Alexa Hasting led the floor defense with 3.70 digs per set. 

Western Kentucky is led by 26th-year coach Travis Hudson, who holds a career mark of 655-215, the winningest coach in school history.

WKU has dropped two sets all season, winning 39-of-41 total sets played. The Hilltoppers most recently earned a pair of sweeps over FIU on March 7-8, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Western Kentucky ranks No. 3 nationally with a .351 hitting efficiency led by junior middle hitter Lauren Matthews, who has notched 161 kills for 3.93 kills per set this season.

Photo Credit: WVU Sports

Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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