This weekend, Western Kentucky volleyball went 3-0 at the Holiday Inn – University Plaza Invitational, with wins over East Tennessee State, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis. With the 3-0 weekend mark, the Toppers have now won two tournaments in the past three weeks.
The Toppers took advantage of their home court and crowd to push through the weekend. The squad stopped an impressive 40.5 balls throughout the weekend at the net with a NCAA-season-best 23 against Pitt.
Against East Tennessee State, the Toppers took down ETS in four sets behind a strong offensive efficiency and 8-1 in aced serves. Alyssa Cavanaugh stole the show with 22 kills and four blocks to lead the team with Jessica Lucas dishing out 44 assists on the night with 10 digs for a double-double. Rachel Anderson also contributed nine kills and a team-best five blocks in the win with Sydney Engle adding a match-best 11 digs.
Against Pittsburgh, their toughest fight of the weekend, the Toppers registered a NCAA-season-best with 23 blocks on the night to Pitts 12. Cavanaugh once against led the squad with 19 kills, while Anderson added another nine kills and 10 blocks, while Amara Listenbee contributed 10 more blocks along with Engle’s eight. Emma Kowalkowski picked up a team-best 12 digs while Engle picked up 11 digs and put down nine kills. Engle was two blocks and a kill away from posting an impressive triple-double feat.
To conclude the weekend, the Toppers posted 45-32 kills over St. Louis and 50-27 digs. The balanced offense and defense helped WKU to their first three-set sweep of the weekend. Cavanaugh and Anderson took charge once against with 18 and 10 kills, respectively. Anderson contributed seven blocks to her tally while Kowalkowski and Engle picked up double-digit digs with 13 and 10, respectively.
Over the course of the weekend, Cavanaugh proved her worth on the court putting down 59 kills on a .414 hitting clip, while contributing 11 blocks.
“I think this weekend is the best weekend that we’ve played, collectively as a group,” said Cavanaugh. “Our defense was amazing, especially in this last game. They were making pushes and that allows us to have so many opportunities to put balls away. We’re going to take that from this weekend, and our energy from this weekend and hopefully more forward.”
Alyssa Cavanaugh is your tournament MVP after an unbelievable weekend! Amara Listenbee was also named to the all-tourney team! #GoTops
— WKU Volleyball (@WKUVolleyball) September 9, 2017
Cavanaughs performance over the weekend was enough to earn her the MVP title of the tournament, with Listenbee also joining the All-Tournament Team after blocking 14 throughout the three matches. Not making the All-Tournament Team, but hitting a milestone in her career was Lucas as she recorded her 1,000th dig in the match against St. Louis.
And with the weekend wrapped up, we'd now like to congratulate @JessicaMoLucas for registering her 1,000th career dig! pic.twitter.com/xyERsaMLqj
— WKU Volleyball (@WKUVolleyball) September 10, 2017