OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – WKU Volleyball senior Jessica Lucas has been named one of 10
finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS AWARD. Working just as hard in the
classroom and community as the three-time All-American does on the court, Lucas
becomes just the second Lady Topper in program history to be a finalist joining
“Jessica Lucas is the definition of that award,” head coach Travis Hudson opened.
“Everybody gets to see what she’s like on the court and they can look at her grades
and see what she’s like as a student, but she’s a first-class individual in every
walk of her life. From the way she treats her teammates, the way she represents us
walking around campus every day, I’m just really, really pleased she is being
recognized for that at this level.”
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School(r), the
Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to
use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their
communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as
an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence:
community, classroom, character and competition.
On the court, Lucas’ list of accolades is lengthy and includes two Conference USA
Setter of the Year honors in addition to the C-USA record with 18 weekly Setter of
the Week nods during her career. A three-time AVCA All-American, Lucas was also
recognized last season for her efforts by PrepVolleyball.com, just to name a few.
In early October, Lucas and fellow senior Alyssa Cavanaugh were named two of the
nation’s 30 candidates for the award, making WKU one of just four teams to have
multiple candidates. Lucas has since been chosen by a selection committee as one of
the remaining 10 finalists.
“Prior to this year, what I knew about the Senior CLASS Award was that Ashley Potts
had been named a finalist with me knowing Sydney and Rachel [Engle], her cousins,”
Lucas shared. “I remember voting for her every day, so I knew you could do that, but
as far as what it was about, I really had no idea until Travis had said that Alyssa
and I were both named in the 30 candidates.”
In addition to her success on the court, Lucas is just as dedicated in the classroom
and community. The Seymour, Ind., native is heavily involved with the Hope 4 Harlie
and Friends of Jaclyn Foundations while also racking up community service hours
through WKU Athletics’ Hilltoppers with Heart campaign. The WKU representative has
spent time on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and additionally
earned a spot on the C-USA All-Academic Team last season.
“Once I started learning more about the award, I realized how much of an honor it
really was that, not just on the court, but my personality, character and
involvement in the community is what people are looking at,” Lucas continued. “I was
shocked when Travis announced that I was a finalist on the bus to practice today.
It’s just crazy, I still don’t think it has sunk in yet.”
Over the eight years of the award’s existence, only seven setters have been named
finalists. She is one of just three setters to be named to the final 10 candidates
across the past six classes.
“As Larry Bird’s theory went, ‘if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow
things will work out in the end’ and that’s something that I pride myself in doing
in the classroom, in the community and on the court,” Lucas added. “I may not be the
most talented at what I do, but I’ll always give you 100 percent of everything that
Nationwide fan voting begins immediately, and fans are encouraged to vote on the
Senior CLASS Award website<http://www.seniorclassaward.com> through December 4. Fan
votes will then be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to
determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the
2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.
“If you don’t feel attached to any of these candidates, you can feel good about
placing a vote for Jessica Lucas because she is everything that this award describes
and everything that you’d want your own daughter to be,” Hudson closed. “She’s
someone that you can sleep well at night knowing you voted for her.
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.