WKU volleyball sticks at No. 23, 2 players garner more C-USA weekly honors

Nadia Dieudonne (2) taps the ball over the net in a win over Ohio State. WKU would later go 3-0 in the Holiday Inn University Plaza Invitational after a win against Tulane.

Kaden Gaylord

The WKU volleyball team (23-1, 9-0 C-USA) continued its streak of weekly honors on Monday afternoon, as the Lady Toppers maintained their No. 23 ranking in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll and a pair of newcomers received weekly awards from Conference USA for the second week in a row.

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

No. 23 WKU — also ranked No. 23 last week — earned more accolades after maintaining its nation-leading numbers in wins, sweeps and a 19-match win streak by defeating both Alabama Birmingham (11-10, 3-5 C-USA) and Charlotte (13-12, 2-6 C-USA) in straight sets over the weekend.

The Lady Toppers lead the nation in winning percentage at .958, and WKU has continued to add upon the best start in program history by giving up two sets in C-USA play this season.

Like last week, there are two C-USA squads in the top 25 — No. 18 Rice (19-1, 8-0) 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">AVCA Top-25:1. Texas2. Pitt3. Baylor4. Wisconsin5. Stanford6. Minn7. Penn St8. Neb9. Creighton10. Marquette11. BYU12. Wash13. Florida14. Colorado St15. Kentucky16. Purdue17. Utah18. Rice19. Illinois20. Cal21. Hawai'i22. Wash St23. WKU24. Mizz25. UCLA</p>— AVCA (@AVCAVolleyball) <a href="https://twitter.com/AVCAVolleyball/status/1188887672250609670?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 28, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/AVCAVolleyball/status/1188887672250609670″ type=”twitter”}}

Stellar performances from both Dieudonne and Briggs helped the Lady Toppers keep their nation-leading statistical marks intact for another week.

Dieudonne and the Lady Topper offense connected for kills on 52.8% of the junior transfer’s sets as the team registered a season-best hitting percentage at .458.

She followed that up with a 49-assist performance in WKU’s sweep at Charlotte. Her 49 assists tied for the most across the NCAA in a three-set match this season, as WKU operated at a .315 clip on the match.

Dieudonne averaged 12.83 assists per set along with 2.00 digs per set, as WKU pushed its sets-won streak to 18.

Briggs delivered an eight-kill, seven-dig outing at UAB on Friday night, then had her 11th double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs in WKU’s second sweep of the weekend against Charlotte.

The freshman finished with 3.83 kills per set, 3.17 digs per set, 0.33 blocks per set and 4.17 points per set and finished with a .352 hitting percentage.

The Lady Toppers have now collected 15 C-USA awards through the first nine 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.

Following another dominant weekend, WKU will return home for a one-game pit stop in Diddle Arena. The Lady Toppers will take on Texas-El Paso (10-11, 3-5 C-USA) for the only time in 2019 this weekend.

Game time on Friday is set for 6 p.m.

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