Paige Briggs, Lauren Matthews receive C-USA weekly awards

WKU outside hitter Paige Briggs (1) hits the ball during the WKU volleyball game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Diddle Arena on Sept. 13, 2019.

Kaden Gaylord

Two of the WKU volleyball team’s key contributors received weekly awards from Conference USA on Monday, as freshman Paige Briggs was named Freshman of the Week for the second time this season and sophomore Lauren Matthews received Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.

The awards came after both Lady Toppers had stellar performances last week, helping WKU to a 4-0 record and a Holiday Inn–University Plaza Invitational title, which included wins over Ohio State and Tulane.

For Briggs, the first-year player now has her second Freshman of the Week nomination in three weeks on the Hill. The freshman totaled 39 kills across WKU’s 13 sets to go along with a team-best 54 digs.

Briggs had three games with at least 14 digs. She also had three double-doubles, increasing her total to six on the year.

Matthews’ Co-Offensive Player of the Week nod marked her first weekly honor of the year. Matthews was named Freshman of the Week once last season.

Matthews started last week by posting an .800 hitting percentage in WKU’s home opener against Eastern Kentucky — a single-match hitting clip that tied for fourth-best on the program’s all-time list.

Matthews led WKU in kills all four games, including 15 against Ohio State, which helped the Lady Toppers earn their second win against a Power Five opponent so far this season.

She added 14 kills against Tulane, a squad that entered the weekend ranked No. 13 in the nation in opponent hitting percentage. Matthews hit more than .100 points better than that average.

Through three weeks of weekly awards, WKU has collected five accolades with four different players earning recognition.

The WKU volleyball team (9-1) also received votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll released Monday.

The Lady Toppers were ranked No. 36 overall in the poll, receiving nine votes.

WKU will travel to Nashville to face Belmont (1-10) in an annual non-conference matchup Tuesday.

The Lady Toppers have defeated Belmont in clean 3-0 sweeps during each of the last five seasons.

The last time the Bruins won a set against WKU was on Sept. 3, 2013. On that date, Belmont claimed the first set but dropped the next three to lose 3-1.

Game time from Curb Event Center is set for 5 p.m.

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