WKU volleyball celebrates 2016 season with awards banquet

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Volleyball celebrated another historic season this past Friday as the Lady Toppers held their annual postseason awards banquet inside the Jack and Jackie Harbaugh Stadium Club. With 22-year veteran head coach Travis Hudson serving as the master of ceremonies, several awards were handed out to commemorate the successes of the 2016 campaign.

Taking home the Best Offensive Player award was the duo of Rachel Anderson and Alyssa Cavanaugh. Anderson’s .414 hitting clip on her sophomore campaign ranked in the top-10 nationally, while Cavanaugh’s 4.41 kills per set finished second in Conference USA and 22nd across the nation. Cavanaugh also achieved the 1,000-kill milestone of her career during her junior season in 2016 during WKU’s five-set win at [RV] Pittsburgh.

Anderson and Cavanaugh, along with setter Jessica Lucas combined for six All-America honors across three different organizations in 2016. Cavanaugh and Lucas each picked up their third-consecutive AVCA recognition while Anderson earned her first nod, landing on the list.

Lucas left the 2016 WKU Volleyball banquet with the team’s MVP honor. The junior was also tabbed the C-USA Setter of the Year and collected a league-record seven Setter of the Week awards. Additionally, Lucas finished ranked sixth across the nation with an 11.64 assists per set average.

Earning the Best Defensive Player award was senior Georgia O’Connell, who served as the team’s libero and played in every match of her four-year career on The Hill. O’Connell, along with fellow senior Kaelin Grimes, closed their careers leading all active players in the NCAA in career matches played at 138.

Grimes, a Fall C-USA Spirit of Service honoree, also went on to collect the Coach’s Award following her final season on The Hill and shared the team’s Academic Award with junior Sydney Engle. Rounding out the 2016 player awards was Amara Listenbee, who was tabbed as the squad’s most improved player.

The 2016 Dr. Charlie Daniel Red Towel Spirit Award was presented to Cindy Hudson for her tremendous support of the team.

To recap, WKU Volleyball produced its 15th-straight 25-win season in 2016 while stretching its 30-win season streak to three-consecutive campaigns with a 30-3 record. The Lady Toppers secured their sixth-straight regular-season conference championship with an unblemished 14-0 record in Conference USA action and remained perfect by winning the C-USA Tournament for the third-straight year as well. The tournament championship marked the Red and White’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002 and the sixth appearance in the past seven seasons.

The 2016 WKU Volleyball season is being presented by the United States Marines. This season, the Marines and WKU Athletics are working together to promote the outstanding athletic and academic achievements of our female student-athletes. The Marines are proud to work with and support these future leaders of America.

How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Volleyball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUVolleyball and head coach Travis Hudson at @TravisHudsonWKU.

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