LEXINGTON, Ky. – Under the guidance of AVCA South Region Coach of the Year Travis
Hudson, WKU Volleyball saw two more firsts for the program as Alyssa Cavanaugh was
named the Red and White’s first-ever Region Player of the Year and a record four
Lady Toppers earned All-Region recognition. Joining Cavanaugh as a four-time
All-Region selection was fellow senior Jessica Lucas. Rachel Anderson collected her
second All-Region title and Sydney Engle earned her first distinction, landing on
the honorable mention squad.
After 23 seasons at the helm of WKU Volleyball, Hudson continues to break new
barriers as the veteran leader won Region Coach of the Year honors for back-to-back
seasons for the first time of his tenure on The Hill. Hudson has now been named such
on five occasions (2017, ’16, ’12, ’05 and ’02).
Prior to the 2017 awards season, no more than three Lady Toppers had ever landed on
AVCA All-Region squads during the same season. In both 2015 and ’16 a trio of
student-athletes earned recognition.
Cavanaugh and Lucas become just the second and third players in program history to
garner AVCA All-Region honors all four years on The Hill, joining the program’s only
four-time All-American – Megan Argabright. All three earned first-team all-region
honors all four seasons.
Anderson collects her second All-Region distinction in as many seasons as a junior
while Engle landed her first recognition as a senior.
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 600 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
27th in the country.
Distributing the assists for those Cavanaugh strikes was setter 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 with 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.
Working at .413 hitting percentage, which currently ranks ninth in the nation,
Anderson earns her second-straight All-Region 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 also 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.
Doing a little bit of everything, Engle closes her career a three-time
All-Conference USA selection in addition to her first All-Region nod. The senior
racked up 240 kills, 133 assists, 20 aces, 305 digs and 83 blocks for WKU on the
season. Engle worked at a career-best .338 offensive clip this season while serving
as a primary passer for the team as well.
For the fourth-consecutive season, WKU Volleyball has posted a 30-win season,
putting together a final mark of 123-17 over the last four campaigns. This year’s
senior class also became the first group in program history to appear in the NCAA
Tournament all four years of their careers after WKU won four-consecutive Conference
USA Tournaments. Additionally, WKU Volleyball posted a Division I-best 23 sweeps on
the 2017 season.
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.