Lady Toppers now ranked 21st after weekend

Matthew Stewart

The 21st ranked Lady Topper Volleyball team (24-2) headed back home this weekend with another pair of wins under its belt.

Head Coach Travis Hudson and the Lady Tops moved up in the AVCA poll from the 23rd spot to 21st in the country with this weekend’s results as well as seeing their RPI rise to 19th.

The weekend started off in West Virginia with a sweep of the Thundering Herd of Marshall on Friday. The win brought WKU to 13-0 in conference play on the season.

Offensively, the Lady Tops were led by sophomore middle hitter Rachel Anderson with 17 kills on a .571 hitting percentage.

All-American junior outside hitter Alyssa Cavanaugh was not too far behind as she had 12 kills of her own with a .333 hitting clip in the contest. The two power hitters have each notched double digit kills 16 times this season.

Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Dellinger got in on the action with seven kills followed by redshirt sophomore middle hitter Amara Listenbee with six to her name.

Junior outside hitter Sydney Engle led the defensive stand for the Lady Tops with 12 digs followed by All-American junior setter Jessica Lucas with eight.

Lucas also tossed up 35 assists in the sweeping victory. The defense held the Thundering Herd to a .165 hitting percentage in the showdown.

This past Sunday the squad traveled to Birmingham to take on the Blazers of the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Hudson and company won their 15th in a row with a 3-0 sweep over the Blazers.

Cavanaugh had a match-high 17 kills to lead the Lady Tops offensively. Anderson threw down 12 kills on a .526 clip. Engle and Dellinger each added seven of their own while Listenbee put in five on six swings.

Lucas led the way in digs with 12 along with 36 assists for her 10th double-double performance of the year. Lucas also had four kills and one block. Engle chalked up 11 digs and matched her career best of seven assists in the match.

Senior defensive specialist Georgia O’Connell added 10 digs and two assists.

Freshman defensive specialist Emma Kowalkowski contributed eight digs while senior defensive specialist Kaelin Grimes chipped in for five digs and the only WKU service ace.

The Lady Toppers are back in action this week in Diddle Arena with a match against the Rice University Owls on Friday at 6 p.m. and then long-time school rival Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.