Breaking news, sports and campus news from Western Kentucky University

WKU Volleyball 2023 season recap

Molly St. Clair
WKU Volleyball waves to fans in Thompson-Boling Arena after defeating Coastal Carolina University in round one of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship on Dec. 1, 2023.

WKU Volleyball’s season came to an end after a loss to the University of Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament, closing their 2023 season with a 30-5 record.

“You come to this tournament to find out where you stand and tonight Tennessee was better than us,” Head Coach Travis Hudson said following the game.

Despite the outcome, WKU was a force to be reckoned with throughout the 2023 season.

Their 30-5 mark, which included a 25 game win streak and a 16-0 record in C-USA games, was the 10th 30 win season in program history. 

As a team, WKU averaged 13.64 kills, 12.61 assists, 12.99 digs and 2.42 blocks per set throughout the  season.

WKU’s average hitting percentage for the entire season was .305. Their highest hitting percentage came in their sweep of Coastal Carolina University in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship on Dec. 1. The Hilltoppers had a .478 hitting percentage over their three sets against the Chanticleers.

Individually, junior outside hitter Kaylee Cox ended the season with a bang, joining the 1,000 career kills club. She was a consistent season leader with 392 kills and 314 digs on the year. 

Redshirt-sophomore setter Callie Bauer put up an undeniably impressive 1,246 assists. Sophomore defensive specialist Abby Schaefer closed the season with a total of 376 digs. Additionally, outside and middle hitter freshman Logan Grevengoed had a strong first year, recording 126.0 blocks and earning C-USA Freshman of the Year honors. 

Fifth year outside hitter Paige Briggs directed the team all season with 457 kills and 58 aces. With the second round loss, Briggs’ college volleyball career came to an end. She leaves the Hilltoppers as an All-American with multiple C-USA, All-Conference and All-Tournament honors.

“I feel very complete with how this season has gone and how my young teammates have fought and grown in this season,” Briggs said following WKU’s match against Tennessee. “I’m so okay with what we have done tonight and how we played and how we represented ourselves.” 

Although WKU has some big shoes to fill with Briggs’ exit, the Hilltoppers have a fairly young team with only two seniors this year. Both senior middle hitter Shannon Keck and senior defensive specialist Cameron Mosley have a year left of eligibility.

As the winningest program on The Hill with 17 C-USA titles, WKU Volleyball’s reputation precedes them. With so much untapped potential and players with several years of eligibility left, WKU Volleyball will have a spotlight on them heading into the 2024 season.

“I don’t think there are many teams in the country that love playing Western Kentucky and it’s because of the relentlessness and togetherness,” Hudson said. “You build an incredible team off the court and there is a culture in place in our program of trust, respect and love that when we get on the court, you must beat us…We won’t beat ourselves.” 

Sports reporter Molly St. Clair can be reached at [email protected]


More to Discover