Breaking news, sports and campus news from Western Kentucky University

C-USA award round-up: WKU nets five conference awards to cap off strong homecoming weekend

Credit: Chris Kohley/WKU Athletics
WKU’s Nadia Dieudonne (2) and Lauren Matthews (5) celebrate during a set at Diddle Arena.

WKU Athletics kicked off the month of November with five student-athletes earning Conference USA weekly awards on Monday.

Three Lady Toppers earned Conference USA postseason soccer awards for their work on the pitch this fall season. Graduate defender Avery Jacobsen was named to the All-Conference First Team, junior forward Katie Erwin earned Third Team honors and freshman forward Brooke Sleeva was named to the All-Freshman Team.

This is Jacobsen’s second time earning a first team award as she made the team in the spring as well. The Las Vegas native is tied for the team’s lead in goals with four, three of which have been game-winners. She is one of only five defenders in the nation who has scored three or more game-winning goals on the season.

Jacobsen is commanding a backline that has held its opponents to just 12 goals on the season, good for a 0.800 goals-against average, and shut out six teams this season.

Erwin leads WKU Soccer in points (12) and assists (4) and is tied with Jacobsen for most goals (4) scored. The Louisville native started the year off hot, scoring or assisting on WKU’s first five goals including the game-winner against Austin Peay and a four-point performance against Union.

Sleeva has played in all 15 games this season and has started in six matches. The South Lyon, Michigan native scored her first collegiate goal at the perfect moment, notching the golden goal against FIU in overtime to give WKU a 3-2 win in Miami.

WKU Soccer will begin play in the 2021 Conference USA Tournament in Boca Raton, Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 3 against UAB at 3:30 p.m. CT. 

WKU gunslinger Bailey Zappe continues to turn heads across the nation, and his performance against Charlotte on homecoming weekend earned the Victoria, Texas native his third Conference USA Player of the Week award of 2021.

Zappe torched the 49ers secondary for 393 yards and five touchdowns. His 3,432 total yards place him second in the nation and his mark of 33 touchdowns is the most in the country. Despite attempting 396 passes across eight games, Zappe has demonstrated his keen eye for picking apart defenses by only throwing six interceptions. 

Zappe and company will return to Houchens-Smith Stadium for another entry in the 100 Miles of Hate rivalry against MTSU on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m. CT.

WKU Volleyball also earned recognition for its stellar performance against Old Dominion. The Hilltoppers swept the Monarchs in both matches and clinched their seventh C-USA east division regular season title in eight seasons on senior night in front of a crowd of alumni.

Senior Middle Hitter Lauren Matthews earned her third Offensive Player of the Week award of the season, her fourth superlative nod of the fall. Matthews picked apart the Monarch’s defense to her team in kills in both contests. She put up 13 kills on Thursday and 17 on Friday while operating at .579 and .625 respective hitting percentages.

Fight-year setter Nadia Dieudonne earned her sixth Setter of the Week Award of the fall after racking up 69 total assists throughout the series. She only committed a single error throughout the two contests and helped her teammates out with seven digs. The Hilltoppers connected for kills on 56.4% of Dieudonne’s sets.

WKU Volleyball will wrap up its regular season with a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to face the 49ers on Friday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. CT and again on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. CT.

Soccer reporter Drew Toennies can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies. Sports Editor Jake Moore contributed to this article.

More to Discover