LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third time in as many seasons, juniors Alyssa Cavanaugh and Jessica Lucas have been named to the AVCA Division I All-Region Team while Rachel Anderson earned her first honor of the sort. Additionally, Travis Hudson was named the South Region Coach of the Year for the fourth time since 2002.
Fresh off a phenomenal 2016 campaign, WKU Volleyball is still rewriting the record books. Lucas and Cavanaugh are the third and fourth athletes from Hudson’s program to collect AVCA All-Region honors for three or more consecutive seasons. The duo will have a chance to join Megan Argabright as the only WKU players to earn honors all four years of their careers next season.
Cavanaugh put together arguably one of the best seasons by an outside hitter in the nation, finishing with a .343 hitting percentage on more than 1,100 swings. Cavanaugh also led C-USA with 516 kills on the season, a mark that ranks 17th across the country currently. The Louisville native led the Lady Toppers in 24 of the squad’s 33 matches in kills including two career performances of 24 strikes.
Facilitating the offense to the second-best hitting percentage in the nation, Lucas was integral in WKU’s success. The Lady Toppers closed the season with a team hitting clip of .310 behind only Florida (.338). Lucas led the league with 11.64 assists per set in 2016, a mark that currently ranks sixth across the nation as well. The Seymour, Indiana, native tallied 1,280 helpers during her junior campaign and achieved 4,000 career assists during WKU’s final match of the season. Lucas is also nearing the 1,000 career dig mark and recorded 13 double-double performances in 2016.
Anderson picked up All-Region Team honors for the first time in her career following a superb sophomore campaign. The Sturgis, Michigan, native finished the year with a .414 hitting percentage, which ranks second in Conference USA and 10th currently in the nation. She racked up 406 kills on the season for the fifth-most strikes in the league playing in every match in 2016.
With the 2016 AVCA Division I South Region Coach of the Year accolade, Hudson has now earned the recognition four times (2002, 2005, 2012, 2016). Each of those seasons, the Lady Toppers have won the regular season and 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 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 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.
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.