WKU volleyball ranked No. 23, 2 players snag C-USA weekly awards

WKU setter Nadia Dieudonne (2) sets the ball to a teammate for a spike during the match with Southern Miss in Diddle Arena Sunday, Sept. 29 2019.

Kaden Gaylord

The WKU volleyball team (21-1, 7-0 C-USA) collected more honors on Monday afternoon, as the Lady Toppers moved up one spot to No. 23 in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll and a pair of newcomers received weekly awards from Conference USA.

Junior Nadia Dieudonne was named Setter of the Week for the fourth time this season, while freshman Paige Briggs also earned Freshman of the Week recognition for the fourth time in 2019.

No. 23 WKU — ranked No. 24 last week — earned both individual and team accolades after the program secured its 20th straight season with at least 20 wins by defeating Middle Tennessee State (7-13, 1-5 C-USA) and Texas San-Antonio (13-8, 6-2 C-USA) in a pair of clean 3-0 sweeps over the weekend.

The Lady Toppers are currently on a 17-game winning streak, have notched an NCAA-best 15 sweeps this season and have only given up two sets in C-USA play this season.

WKU has continued to add upon the best start in program history, as the Lady Toppers are also the first team in the NCAA to achieve 20 wins in 2019.

Like last week, there are two C-USA squads in the top 25 — No. 19 Rice (18-1, 7-0) is also ranked. WKU and Rice are set to meet in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 10.

{{tncms-inline account=”AVCA” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AVCA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AVCA</a> Top-25:1. Baylor2. Stanford3. Pitt4. Texas5. Neb6. Wisconsin7. Minn8. Penn St9. Wash10. Creighton11. Marquette12. BYU13. Florida14. Colorado St15. Cal16. Kentucky17. Illinois18. Utah19. Rice20. Purdue21. Hawai'i22. USD23. WKU24. Wash St25. Mizz</p>— AVCA (@AVCAVolleyball) <a href="https://twitter.com/AVCAVolleyball/status/1186349139803693056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 21, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/AVCAVolleyball/status/1186349139803693056″ type=”twitter”}}

Stellar performances from both Dieudonne and Briggs helped the Lady Toppers match the fifth-longest winning streak in program history at 17 straight victories.

Dieudonne delivered a 25-assist, nine-dig, four-kill effort while facilitating the WKU offense to a season-best .442 hitting clip against Middle Tennessee State on Friday. Dieudonne recorded 31 assists, five digs, a block, a kill and an ace as WKU swept then-third place UTSA from Diddle Arena on Sunday. 

For the weekend, Dieudonne finished with a 9.33 assists per set rate, a 2.33 digs per set mark and 1.25 points per set.

Briggs had a .304 hitting clip across WKU’s pair of wins while finding the floor for 19 kills along the way. She finished with 3.17 kills per set, 1.83 digs per set, 0.83 blocks per set and 4.25 points per set.

Briggs is second on the team in total kills with 245 on the season and leads the team in digs with 235.

The Lady Toppers have now collected 13 C-USA awards through the first eight weeks of distribution, and they’re the only team in the league that has earned an award each week.

WKU is also the lone squad to have players recognized for each of the four C-USA weekly awards — Offensive PlayerDefensive PlayerSetter and Freshman of the Week.

WKU will stay on the road this weekend, as the Lady Toppers will hit the road to face Alabama-Birmingham (11-8, 3-3 C-USA) and Charlotte (12-11, 2-5 C-USA).

WKU faces UAB on Friday at 7 p.m. in Bartow Arena and Charlotte on Sunday at noon in Halton Arena.

Reporter Kaden Gaylord can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Kaden on Twitter at @_KLG3.