BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Returning 10 student-athletes from a squad that finished the 2012 season No. 21 in the country with its third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and second-consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship, the Western Kentucky University volleyball team announced Tuesday its schedule for the 2013 campaign.
With 32 matches on the schedule, including 14 at E.A. Diddle Arena, the Lady Toppers face six NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. WKU’s 2013 opponents combined for eight victories in NCAA postseason action, including five that advanced to the second round and one who made it to the quarterfinals in USC, who fell to eventual national champion Texas.
Out of the 23 opponents on the regular-season schedule, 13 posted winning seasons in 2012 with eight of those tallying 20 wins or more.
The schedule features 11 opponents from last season, as WKU holds a 15-1 record against those teams. The only loss by the Lady Toppers came against nationally-ranked Ohio State. The slate also delivers six first-time opponents and will welcome three in Texas State, Georgia State and UT-Arlington to its league portion.
WKU opens the season Friday, August 30 at Purdue’s Mortar Board Premier, facing Alabama A&M in its first match while finishing with USC and Purdue on August 31. Belmont then comes to Bowling Green for the first home match on September 3 before WKU travels to Tallahassee, Fla., for a tournament featuring Ohio State, Florida A&M and host Florida State on September 6-7.
A home bout with Cincinnati takes place on September 10 followed by the program’s annual home tournament on September 13-14. The Lady Toppers welcome Virginia that Friday while Ohio and UNLV will face WKU that Saturday. The non-conference portion closes out September 20-21 with a tournament at Dayton that is highlighted with an opening match against the Flyers followed by Western Michigan and Wright State.
The Sun Belt schedule will have WKU facing all nine schools twice in 2013, opening the slate at Troy on September 27. The Lady Toppers will have its league home opener on October 4 against newcomer Texas State. The last five games of the regular season will be in the confines of Diddle Arena before WKU will try to defend its league title for the third-straight year at the SBC Tournament November 21-23 at Troy.