Lady Toppers back in Top 25, Engle earns weekly honor

Clay Manlove

After picking up a pair of conference wins over Marshall and Alabama-Birmingham this weekend, the WKU Volleyball team cracked the AVCA Top 25 poll for the first time since Week 2 of the season. 

The No. 25 Lady Toppers have an overall 25-2 record including 11-0 in Conference USA play and have won 21-straight matches and 34 of their last 35 sets. 

The top seven spots of the AVCA poll remain the same as they were in last week’s release, and WKU is one of just seven schools that earned spots in this week’s poll that are not in a Power 5 conference. 

The Lady Toppers remain No. 35 in the NCAA RPI standings. 

On Monday, WKU’s Sydney Engle was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week for the fifth time in 2017 after helping WKU tie its second-longest win streak in program history with a 3-1 win over Marshall a sweep of UAB on Senior Day. 

The senior right side hitter notched an average of 3.14 points per set, 2.86 digs per set, 2.43 kills per set, 1.29 assists per set, 0.71 blocks per set and 0.29 aces per set in the weekend slate. 

Engle also tied for a team-high 12 kills in Sunday’s match against the Blazers, sharing the statistic with junior outside hitter Taylor Dellinger. 

With Engle’s award, the Lady Toppers have picked up 14 individual awards in 2017 and have collected at least one individual award over each of the last nine weeks. 

The Lady Toppers close out the regular season with a trio of road games against Rice, Middle Tennessee and North Texas before returning to Diddle Arena to host the Conference USA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 17, to Sunday, Nov. 19.

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