Lady Toppers practice

Western Kentucky women ‘s basketball coach Greg Collins looks on during practice March 10, 2020, before the Conference USA tournament in Frisco, Texas.

The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team will participate in the 2021 Preseason WNIT, the organization announced Thursday. The event will take place in November with each team playing three games at a host site.

Unlike years past, this year’s event will not be in a tournament format and there will not be a champion crowned at the end. Instead, there will be two four-team pods with N.C. State and Kansas State as hosts. Each site will play a round-robin format.

WKU is in Kansas State’s pod with the Wildcats, North Carolina A&T and UT Martin. The Lady Toppers will take on North Carolina A&T first Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. Central. WKU will face the host team Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. and then conclude with UT Martin Nov. 15 at 4 p.m.

The Lady Toppers last played in the Preseason WNIT in the 2014-15 season, going 3-1 in the tournament. This will be the fifth time WKU has played in the event in program history.

Kansas State went 9-18 in 2020-21 and 3-15 in the Big 12. North Carolina A&T was 14-3 last season, including a 9-1 MEAC record. The Aggies won the MEAC tournament and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to N.C. State. UT Martin was 22-6 in 2020-21 and 17-2 in the OVC.

WKU returns three starters from 2021-22 in Hope Sivori, Meral Abdelgawad and Raneem Elgedawy along with key reserves Tori Hunter, Selma Kulo and Jordan Smith. Newcomers Macey Blevins, Ana Teresa Faustino, Jaylin Foster, Gabby McBride, Alexis Mead, Mya Meredith and Jenna Walker will look to make contributions as well.