Hudson, four Lady Toppers earn All-Region selections

Senior setter Jessica Lucas sets a ball to junior Rachel Anderson in last week’s NCAA Tournament first round game against Notre Dame. Lucas and Anderson both received AVCA South Region honors on Tuesday, Dec. 5. 

Clay Manlove

The WKU volleyball program announced on Tuesday that head coach Travis Hudson and four Lady Toppers have garnered AVCA South Region recognitions following the 2017 season.

Following his 23rd season, Hudson has been named Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Hudson has been named as such on five occasions (2017, ’16, ’12, ’05 and ’02).

Alyssa Cavanaugh and Jessica Lucas become the second and third players in WKU history to receive AVCA All-Region honors during each of their four years on the hill, joining the team’s only four-time All-American in Megan Argabright.

Cavanaugh earned South Region Player of the Year after owning the second-best hitting percentage in the nation (.357) among players who took more than 1,000 swings. The senior recorded 489 kills in 2017, leading Conference USA and ranking 27th in the nation.

Lucas facilitated the WKU offense with 1,323 assists (11.03 per set) in her senior campaign while breaking the program record for career assists in the season-ending loss at Kentucky, finishing her career with 5,338 total assists.

Joining Lucas and Cavanaugh on the All-Region list is junior Rachel Anderson, who ranks ninth in the nation with a .413 hitting percentage and recorded 420 kills and 130 total blocks in 2017 on her way to her second straight All-Region nod.

Rounding out the list for the Lady Toppers is versatile senior Sydney Engle, a three-time All-Conference USA selection. Engle recorded 240 kills, 133 assists, 20 service aces, 305 digs and 83 blocks in her senior campaign while working at a career high .338 hitting clip.

WKU finished with 30 wins for the fourth consecutive season and finished with a 123-17 mark over the last four seasons. The senior class for the Lady Toppers became the first in program history to appear in the NCAA Tournament in each of their four years on the Hill, winning four consecutive conference championships.

In addition, the Lady Toppers recorded a Division I-best 23 sweeps in the 2017 season, including a sweep over Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. WKU ended its season with a 3-2 loss to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday evening in Lexington.

Reporter Clay Manlove can be reached at (270) 724-9620. Follow him on Twitter at @ctmanlove58.