IRVING, Texas – As WKU Volleyball extended its winning streak to double digits during the opening weekend of league play, the play of Jessica Lucas and Sydney Engle stood out as the duo has repeated as the Conference USA Setter of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively. The Lady Toppers improved to 15-2 after a five-set victory over Florida Atlantic and a sweep of Charlotte on the road.
For the fourth consecutive week, Lucas has collected Setter of the Week honors as the WKU facilitator helped the high-powered offense to a .414 weekend hitting percentage. The Seymour, Ind., native registered an average of 13.0 assists per set while racking up 104 total helpers across the eight sets of play. In WKU’s five-set win at Florida Atlantic, Lucas and the WKU attackers were nearly perfect as 59 of the senior facilitator’s 64 sets found the floor for kills – an astounding 92.2%. As if 13.0 assists/set wasn’t enough, Lucas also contributed 2.0 digs/set, 0.50 kills/set, 0.25 blocks/set and 0.25 aces/set, not to mention her .250 attack rate herself. Lucas was also reliable behind the service line, notching a pair of aces and a 97.5 service rate on the weekend.
Now owning 16 Conference USA Setter of the Week nods, Lucas ranks second all-time across all weekly awards in the sport. Tyler Henderson holds the record with 17 Offensive Player of the Week nods spanning from 2009-12 for Tulsa.
Earning the second Defensive Player of the Week accolade of her career in as many weeks is Engle who has put up solid all-around numbers for the Lady Toppers throughout the season. The senior tallied four block assists in addition to 13 digs in WKU’s five-set victory over Florida Atlantic before tallying her first double-double showing of the season at Charlotte. Engle owned a team-best 12 digs in the sweep over the 49ers to go along with 13 kills and a career-best .722 hitting percentage. The right-side hitter worked at a .395 offensive clip on the weekend while adding 3.12 digs per set, 2.62 kills per set, 0.62 blocks per set, 0.62 assists per set and 0.38 aces per set across the C-USA opening weekend to help the Lady Toppers to their 26th– and 27th-straight wins over league opposition.
WKU has now seen four different Lady Toppers combine for eight Conference USA weekly awards through the first five weeks of distribution. Lucas owns a team-best four honors, while Engle (2), Rachel Anderson and Alyssa Cavanaugh have also collected laurels.
After a stretch of six matches on the road, WKU Volleyball will finally return to Diddle Arena Friday night as Louisiana Tech comes to town. First serve against the Lady Techsters is slated for 6 p.m. CT.