WKU volleyball sticks at No. 19, Paige Briggs earns 7th C-USA Freshman of the Week nod

The Lady Toppers celebrate a point scored by freshman Paige Briggs (1) during Sunday’s game in Diddle Arena. Briggs had a total of 10 kills, five blocks, five digs, one ace and ended the game with a .320 hitting percentage.

Kaden Gaylord

The WKU volleyball team (28-1, 14-0 C-USA) continued its run of weekly honors on Monday afternoon, as the Lady Toppers jumped up to a No. 19 ranking in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll and a standout newcomer received a weekly award from Conference USA.

Freshman Paige Briggs earned Freshman of the Week recognition for the seventh time in 2019, as the Ortonville, Michigan, native has collected seven of the possible 12 awards.

No. 19 WKU — also ranked No. 19 last week — earned more accolades by clinching an outright C-USA regular-season title with wins over Louisiana Tech (13-15, 3-11) and Alabama-Birmingham (12-15, 4-10) in straight sets at home last weekend.

The Lady Toppers are ranked No. 1 out of 335 Division I volleyball programs in wins with 28, winning percentage at .966, consecutive wins with 24 and clean 3-0 sweeps with 20.

Like last week, there are two C-USA squads in the top 25 — No. 21 Rice (24-2, 13-1) is ranked after racking up two more 3-0 sweeps.

{{tncms-inline account=”AVCA” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">AVCA Top-25:1. Texas2. Pitt3. Baylor4. Stanford 5. Wisconsin6. Nebraska7. Minn8. Penn St9. Marquette10. Wash11. Colo St12. Creighton13. BYU14. Kentucky15. Florida16. Utah17. Purdue18. Hawai'i19. WKU20. USD21. Rice22. Wash St23. Mich24. Cal25. Illinois</p>— AVCA (@AVCAVolleyball) <a href="https://twitter.com/AVCAVolleyball/status/1196512515972378624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 18, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/AVCAVolleyball/status/1196512515972378624″ type=”twitter”}}

Briggs delivered another solid weekend for the Lady Toppers, as she posted her 14th double-double off the season Thursday night to help WKU knock off LA Tech. 

The rookie tallied 12 kills and 12 digs before following that up with a 13-dig outing in Saturday’s finale against UAB. Briggs struck for 25 weekend digs and 15 combined kills while hitting a .279 clip. 

In serve-receive, the rookie turned in a 92% success rate. Briggs averaged 4.17 digs per set, 2.83 points per set, 2.50 kills per set and 0.50 blocks per set as WKU closed the regular season on a 24-game winning streak, which is the second-longest stretch in the country and program history.

The Lady Toppers have now collected 19 awards through the first 12 weeks of distribution — a new season-high for WKU since joining C-USA prior to the 2014 campaign, surpassing the previous record of 16 set back in 2017.

WKU has also had players recognized for each of the four C-USA weekly awards — Offensive PlayerDefensive PlayerSetter and Freshman of the Week.

Briggs is tied with Rice’s Nicole Lennon for the most awards of any sort this season at seven.

Junior transfer Nadia Dieudonne finished with six Setter of the Week nods, while sophomore Lauren Matthews added four Offensive Player of the Week accolades.

Senior Sophia Cerino and junior transfer Logan Kael each brought in a Defensive Player of the Week honor as well.

Following the regular season, the Lady Toppers will look to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the C-USA Tournament, which is set for Nov. 22-24 in Houston.

First-seeded WKU will meet eighth-seeded Middle Tennessee State (13-16, 6-8 C-USA) in the quarterfinals on Friday at noon.

All seven games of the C-USA Tournament will be streamed live for ESPN+ subscribers.

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