Home of Lady Topper Volleyball Camps
One of the finest on-campus facilities in the country, WKU's E.A. Diddle Arena serves as the home of Hilltopper and Lady Topper basketball, and Lady Topper volleyball. The facility celebrated its 50th year of operation during the 2012-13 school year. read more
One name easily comes to mind when thinking of Western Kentucky University volleyball–Travis Hudson. Entering into his 23rd season as head coach in the 2017 season, he is the architect behind turning WKU Volleyball into a championship-caliber team and bringing national attention to the Lady Topper program.
After taking over the helm in 1995 and finishing that campaign with a 7-26 overall record, a resurgence in WKU Volleyball came at an astounding pace. Under Hudson’s tutelage, WKU has earned 10 Sun Belt Conference Regular-Season Championships, including seven-straight from 2000-2006, and five Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championships. In the department’s first three seasons in Conference USA, Hudson guided the 2014, 2015 and 2016 squads to back-to-back regular season titles and sequential C-USA Championships. Along with that, the Lady Toppers have appeared in 10 NCAA Tournaments, as eight came from earning the league’s automatic bid and two were as at-large selections.
For his career, Hudson holds a 559-199 (.737) mark, as his only head coaching job has been on The Hill. Hudson has been named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year five times (2000, 2002, 2005, 2012 and 2013) and Conference USA Coach of the Year twice (2015 and 2016) while being an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coach of the Year finalist four times after earning the South Region Coach of the Year award in 2002, 2005, 2012 and 2016. He has 20 winning seasons in his career, as he has 18 seasons with 20 or more wins as well as seven years with 30 or more wins.
Kristi Griffin returns for her ninthseason on the WKU volleyball staff as an assistant coach in 2017. Griffin has also coached at Jacksonville State and the University of Southern Indiana. Since Griffin’s arrival in 2009, the Lady Toppers have notched six NCAA Tournament appearances along with three regular season Conference USA championships, three Conference USA Tournament Championships, three Sun Belt Conference Regular-Season Championships and two SBC Tournament titles.
With Griffin on staff, WKU has a record of 235-45 overall and 118-10 against conference opponents. Griffin has guided 14 All-Conference USA honorees and 21 All-Sun Belt Conference selections, including three-time All-Americasn Melanie Stutsman, Alyssa Cavanaugh and Jessica Lucas, along with two-time All-Americans Jordyn Skinner.
The 2016 squad proved to be one of the elite teams in the nation both on and off the court. After posting a cumulative team GPA of 3.61 for the 2016-17 school year to earn a spot on the AVCA Academic Honor Roll, WKU was the only DI program to earn top-25 academic honors and finish in the top-25 (or receiving votes) in the final AVCA Coaches Poll of 2016. The Red and White posted a 30-3 campaign, including a perfect 14-0 mark in regular-season C-USA action and a 21-match winning streak. Claiming both the conference regular season and tournament championships for the third year since joining Conference USA, the Lady Toppers made the program’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance, traveling to Stanford, Calif.
With almost 20 years of Division I assistant coaching experience, Craig Bere brings his extensive volleyball knowledge to The Hill, as Bere is set for his thirdseason on the sidelines for WKU volleyball in 2017.
Year two on The Hill with Bere on staff saw the Lady Toppers repeat as outright C-USA regular season champions after sharing the crown in 2014. Additionally, the Red and White won their third-straight C-USA Tournament Championship to secure the program’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance. WKU sported a clean 14-0 mark in regular-season league play and posted an overall 21-match win streak. The 2016 WKU squad proved to be on of the elite teams in the nation both on and off the court. After posting a cumulative team GPA of 3.61 for the 2016-17 school year to earn a spot on the AVCA Academic Honor Roll, WKU was the only DI program to earn top-25 academic honors and finish in the top-25 (or receive votes) in the final AVCA Coaches Poll in 2016.
Bere helped WKU to perhaps its best season in program history in 2015 as the Lady Toppers finished with a 32-4 record and repeated as C-USA regular season and tournament champions. A season highlight came when WKU opened the year by defeating No. 5 Wisconsin in Madison. The win marks the fifth time in the last four seasons that WKU knocked out a top-25 opponent. The Lady Toppers ended the season in style as WKU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history and finished the year nationally ranked for the second time with a final ranking of No. 22 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.