IRVING, Texas— Conference USA released its Volleyball Preseason Poll and Team on Thursday with WKU volleyball chosen to finish second as selected by the league coaches. Along with the poll, three student-athletes were placed on the Preseason Team, including junior Noelle Langenkamp selected as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year.
Joining Langenkamp on the 12-person team from WKU is senior Heather Boyan and junior Haley Bodway. WKU’s three selections marks the most from one school on the league list.
The Lady Toppers follow defending C-USA regular-season and tournament champion UTSA in the poll. The Roadrunners finished 2013 with a 24-8 record and 13-1 league mark, as UTSA returns 10 letterwinners and six starters from that squad.
Following WKU in the top five are Rice and North Texas in third and fourth, respectively, while Southern Miss and UAB tie for fifth. WKU finished 2013 with a 27-6 overall record while taking the regular-season title in the Sun Belt Conference for the third-straight season. The Lady Toppers’ 2014 team will consist of seven returning letterwinners and five highly-touted newcomers.
Langenkamp enters her third year on The Hill as WKU’s top returner in hitting percentage, finishing last season second on the team and 15th in the nation with a .411 mark. The Cincinnati product is a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference honoree, including being named to the first team last season, as she was third on the team with 308 kills and ranked in the SBC top 10 with 2.96 kills per set. The middle hitter posted 97 total blocks in 2013, good for second on the team.
Boyan is a two-time Second-Team All-SBC honoree, as she finished last year’s campaign 18th in the nation with a .407 hitting percentage; however, she led the team in hitting percentage against league opponents with a .452 mark. Originally from Munster, Ind., Boyan led the team at the net with 99 blocks.
Hailing from Bloomington, Minn., Bodway played in all 33 matches for 107 sets last season. The outside hitter was second on the squad with 311 kills, as she ranked eighth in Sun Belt Conference-only stats with 3.21 kills per set. Bodway tallied a career-high 21 kills against ULM while completing the season with double-digit kills in 12 matches.
WKU kicks off the 2014 schedule August 29 in Las Vegas at the UNLV Invitational, facing UC Riverside and the Rebels on the first day while finishing with CSU Northridge on August 30.
Season tickets for the 2014 campaign are available online at WKUSports.com or by calling the WKU ticket office at 1-800-5-BIGRED. Season ticket holders will receive 13 general admission tickets with the flexible ticket package that can be used to attend the home games of his or her choice. This plan allows the flexibility to choose which volleyball games the buyer wants to attend and the number of tickets used for each game. Season ticket holders also gain exclusive access to pre-game chalk talks with head coach Travis Hudson, who enters his 20th season at the helm of WKU volleyball.
For all the latest news and information on WKU volleyball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program on Twitter via @TravisHudsonWKU and @WKUVolleyball.