Lauren Matthews tabbed AVCA Honorable Mention All-American

Lauren Matthews (Provided)

Kaden Gaylord

Sophomore Lauren Matthews has been named an Honorable Mention All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, the organization announced Wednesday.

After earning Player of the Year honors from the AVCA’s South Region and Conference USA, Matthews is the ninth different Lady Topper to earn All-American honors in WKU volleyball history.

“The season that Lauren Matthews put together was unmatched in Division I Volleyball,” head coach Travis Hudson said in a release. “More than the numbers she put up, I am most proud of the growth that she has shown over the last 12 months. The success she had on the court is a direct result of the hard work she put in with nobody watching on a daily basis in the practice gym. I’m so proud of her.”

In just her second season on The Hill, the Indianapolis native spent more than two months leading all of NCAA Volleyball in hitting percentage and ranks first with a .448 clip, which sits second on WKUs’ single-season list.

Throughout the course of the season, Matthews earned four of C-USA’s Offensive Player of the Week honors in addition to setting WKU’s single-match hitting percentage record at .882.

In league matches, Matthews worked at a scorching .483 mark. The sophomore finished with 470 kills with 205 coming in C-USA matches.

Matthews was also a force to be reckoned with at the net defensively, tallying 139 blocks for a 1.18 blocks per set average this season. She owns 36 solo blocks (fifth on WKU’s single season list) and 103 block assists (eighth on WKU’s single season list).

After earning C-USA’s Player of the Year honor, Matthews also collected C-USA Tournament MVP recognition after an outstanding showing in Houston.

This season, Matthews and the Lady Toppers posted an overall record of 32-2 to earn the program’s best-ever winning percentage at .941.

The Lady Toppers ran the table in league play with a perfect 14-0 record after being picked third in the preseason and ultimately claiming both the regular season and tournament championships.

Matthews’ All-American honor marks the 22nd in program history awarded by the AVCA, with nine different Lady Toppers combining for the mark. Of the nine different All-Americans, Matthews is the fifth to earn the honor as a freshman or sophomore.

Since WKU volleyball’s first-ever All-American accolades were collected by Megan Argabright and Caron Blotch in 2005, the program has had just four seasons without a returning All-American on the roster including the 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2019 campaigns.

By season’s end, a Lady Topper player would earn All-American status in three of those four years with Matthews’ most recent recognition.

Reporter Kaden Gaylord can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Kaden on Twitter at @_KLG3.