BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With the 2016 South Region Coach of the Year laurel to his name, WKU Volleyball head coach Travis Hudson has been named one of the 10 finalists for the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I National Coach of the Year accolade. Coach Hudson and the nine other finalists will be in attendance when the nation’s top coach is announced at the AVCA Convention’s Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio.
Hudson, also the 2016 Conference USA Coach of the Year, joins each of the AVCA Division I Region Coach of the Year honorees on the ballot, including: Kirsten Bernthal Booth (Creighton, East Region), Joe Sagula (North Carolina, East Coast Region), Melissa Stokes (Missouri State, Midwest Region), John Cook (Nebraska, North Region), Kelly Sheffield (Wisconsin, Northeast Region), Shawn Garus (Boise State, Pacific North Region), Heather Olmstead (BYU, Pacific South Region), Wayne Kreklow (Missouri, Southeast Region) and Amanda Berkley (Southern Miss, Southwest Region).
The 2016 AVCA Division I South Region Coach of the Year accolade marks the fourth time that Hudson has collected the honor during his tenure (2002, 2005, 2012, 2016). Each of those seasons, the Lady Toppers have won the regular season and conference tournament championships in addition to appearing in five NCAA Tournament matches (advanced to second round in 2012). The 22-year veteran coach has also earned the conference’s Coach of the Year laurel during each of those four seasons.
In 2016, WKU Volleyball put together an impressive 30-3 record, which included the program’s fifth-ever undefeated record in conference play. Additionally, three losses ties the fewest losses the Lady Toppers have ever suffered during a season (2005, 31-3). After compiling a clean slate through regular-season conference play, WKU continued its streak into the league tournament where it became just the second team to go undefeated in conference play and win the tournament championship as well. From September 16 until December 2, WKU did not lose a match, stringing together 21-consecutive victories for the second longest streak in the nation at that time.
There were plenty of postseason honors to go around by the Lady Topper squad, which racked up five 2016 All-Conference USA honorees in addition to the league’s Player of the Year (Alyssa Cavanaugh) and Setter of the Year (Jessica Lucas). Three WKU players earned spots on the All-Tournament team including Rachel Anderson (MVP), Georgia O’Connell and Cavanaugh. Additionally, a trio of players have also been tabbed as All-South Region selections in Lucas, Cavanaugh and Anderson.
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.