Tops punctuate fourth straight conference title

11/19/2017 04:59 PM

By Ryan Dearbone

The road to clinching the program’s fourth straight Conference USA Volleyball Championship wasn’t exactly an easy one for WKU. Sunday’s title contest was a rematch between WKU and the North Texas Mean Green, the only team in the conference to defeat the Tops this season. The Lady Toppers (30-3) came out guns blazing in the first two sets, by taking it to the North Texas Mean Green. WKU scored five straight points to start off the first set and eventually took the first set 25-15 off of a Jessica Lucas kill.

The Lady Tops breezed through the second set just as easily with a 25-17 win, with four WKU players notching at least five kills. The third set proved much more difficult as WKU couldn’t separate itself from North Texas and the Mean Green hung 10 straight points on the Tops. North Texas would eventually take the third set, 25-20. The fourth set began as a seesaw battle for the two teams, as WKU would get a lead and then North Texas would tie the Tops. Eventually, WKU was able to strike a final blow to North Texas with a 25-21 win, and walk off of their home court as the 2017 Conference USA champions.

WKU’s Alyssa Cavanaugh and Jessica Lucas were named to the All Tournament Team and Rachel Anderson, who notched 15 kills off of .462 hitting and 7 blocks, was named the Tournament MVP. Team leader Alyssa Cavanaugh contributed 10 kills and Conference regular season MVP, Jessica Lucas added 6 kills, 39 assists and 13 digs.

Coach Travis Hudson noted while WKU is one of the best offensive programs in the country, it was the defensive part of its game which allowed the Tops to exact revenge on North Texas and gut out the victory. Now, with an automatic bid in its possession, WKU will now wait to see where it will be positioned when the NCAA tournament brackets are announced on Sunday, Nov. 26.

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