KANSAS CITY, Mo. – WKU Volleyball’s Alyssa Cavanaugh, Jessica Lucas and Rachel
Anderson have been named American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)
All-Americans, the AVCA announced Wednesday. Cavanaugh landed Third Team
All-American status, becoming the first Lady Topper in program history to land on
one of the three 14-person teams named by the AVCA. Joining Cavanaugh as a four-time
All-American while on The Hill is senior setter Lucas as junior Anderson collects
her first honor from the AVCA.
Cavanaugh joins the short list of Conference USA volleyball players to be recognized
on one of the AVCA’s three All-America teams as the Louisville, Ky., native is just
the ninth player in league history to do so. The last time a C-USA player landed on
a team was following the 2013 season when UTSA’s McKenzie Adams did so.
“What an incredible honor for Alyssa to cap off her career,” head coach Travis
Hudson shared. “She has been one of the best players in college volleyball over the
last couple of years and to see her recognized among the nation’s elite players is
something that is very gratifying to see. Being named to one of the All-American
teams is something that is a reflection of the hard work put in by Alyssa as well as
all her teammates; WKU should be very proud of this tremendous honor.”
Cavanaugh and Lucas become just the second and third players in program history to
garner AVCA All-America honors all four years on The Hill, joining the program’s
only four-time honoree – Megan Argabright. All three earned first-team all-region
honors all four seasons. Of the 10 Region Player of the Year honorees across the
country, Cavanaugh was the only non-Power 5 selection and is one of just five to
land on an AVCA All-America team across the 42 honored spots.
“When starting at WKU, I had no idea what to expect going into a Division I
program,” Cavanaugh began. “After the first two years, I knew not only the program
was special, but that my class was special. We were starting to accomplish things
that were never done before and that turned into us becoming the class that wanted
to do the impossible and break as many records as possible – we wanted to leave a
legacy. Before leaving the program, I wanted to leave my own personal legacy and
winning this award accomplishes just that. While this might be an ‘individual’
award, I don’t see it as that. I never could have achieved this without my team,
coaches and especially the volleyball class of 2018. What a journey it’s been and
what an incredible finish to my career.”
Of all players in the nation that took more than 1,000 swings this season –
regardless of position – Cavanaugh owns the second-best hitting percentage with a
scorching .357 clip. Among outside hitters with more than 625 swings, the
back-to-back Conference USA Player of the Year leads everyone. The Louisville native
racked up 489 kills on her senior campaign, a mark that led Conference USA and ranks
28th in the country despite the Lady Toppers leading the nation in sweeps with 23.
Cavanaugh closed her career with the second-most kills by a Lady Topper in program
history coming in at 1,816 – a modern scoring era record. Proving to be more than
just an offensive powerhouse, Cavanaugh also finished with WKU’s sixth-most solo
blocks, 87, in program history.
Distributing the assists for those Cavanaugh strikes was Lucas, the WKU Volleyball
career assist record holder as of her final match for the Red and White. With her
eighth assist of the NCAA Tournament Second Round match at No. 6 Kentucky – on a
kill by Cavanaugh – Lucas surpassed the Lady Topper record of 5,294 held by Melanie
Stutsman. Finishing with 5,338 helpers on her career, Lucas’ mark will stand for a
while. Facilitating the WKU offense to the second-best hitting clip in the nation
(.332), Lucas also leaves her mark in multiple record book categories finishing
ninth in the career block assists column with 251.
Working at a .413 hitting percentage, which currently ranks ninth in the nation,
Anderson earns her first AVCA All-America nod. The Sturgis, Mich., native has now
hit better than .400 on back-to-back seasons while also dropping in 420 kills this
year. Anderson racked up an average of 1.08 blocks per set this season with 130
total stuffs – the ninth most for a Lady Topper in a single season. The junior
already ranks eighth on WKU’s career total blocks list with 329.
WKU’s trio of honorees marks the first time more than two players have earned AVCA
All-American status in program history. The Lady Topper honorees are the three
Conference USA representatives on this year’s list. The last time three
student-athletes from the same C-USA program earned AVCA All-America honors was 2011
when Tulsa landed Tyler Henderson on Second Team and Jessica Adams and Diana Silva
each collected Honorable Mention recognition.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Volleyball, follow
the team on Twitter at @WKUVolleyball<http://www.twitter.com/wkuvolleyball> and head
coach Travis Hudson at @TravisHudsonWKU<http://www.twitter.com/travishudsonwku>.