WKU makes history, tops Southern Miss

WKU senior Alyssa Cavanaugh (7) spikes the ball during their game vs. Pittsburgh on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Diddle Arena. This weekend WKU competed a tournament and Cavanaugh was named the tournament MVP.

Clay Manlove

Behind a stellar performance by senior outside-hitter Alyssa Cavanaugh, WKU rolled to a 3-0 home win over Southern Miss to break the Conference USA record for most consecutive wins over conference opponents, now with 30.

Cavanaugh, the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, blistered the Golden Eagles (12-8, 2-2 C-USA) with 24 kills, just two kills shy of her career high as the Lady Toppers hit for a combined .398 hitting percentage on the night.

“I think tonight was a veteran win,” WKU head coach Travis Hudson said. “We were behind in a lot of these sets and kept our composure and made winning plays at the end of sets. I think that has to do with the fact that we have a lot of kids that have been in big matches that are comfortable in those situations.” 

Along with the new record, the Lady Toppers (18-2, 5-0 C-USA) have now won 48-straight matches against conference opponents in Diddle Arena and have won 14-straight matches on the season since their loss to Illinois on Sept. 2.

“You just go into every game doing your best and putting your best foot forward, and that’s just a perk,” Cavanaugh said. “The winning streak is just a perk. It’s not something that we focus on, but it’s a great reward for our hard work.”

Rachel Anderson added 13 kills and four blocks on the evening while Jessica Lucas posted her fifth double-double of the year with 40 assists and 10 digs. Sydney Engle tallied eight kills to complement a team-high 11 digs as the WKU defense held the Golden Eagles to just a .194 hitting clip.

“I think people had fun tonight, watching this team play,” Hudson said. “They don’t have many opportunities left to watch Alyssa Cavanaugh and Jessica Lucas and Sydney Engle and these kids play. They’re pretty special to watch, and they certainly were tonight.”

The Lady Toppers will close out their four-match home stand on Tuesday as they host non-conference opponent Austin Peay. The Governors are 17-2 on the season with 11-straight wins and will play host to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.

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