Hilltopper Volleyball predicted to win C-USA East Division
DALLAS – After a 2020-21 season that saw WKU Volleyball continue to climb to new heights yet again, the Conference USA coaches have picked the Hilltoppers to win the league’s East division this season. Returning All-Americans Paige Briggs, Nadia Dieudonne and Lauren Matthews were all named to the league’s Preseason All-Conference team.
WKU’s trio of student-athletes recognized on the preseason team each earned First Team All-Conference USA nods the last two seasons, helping the Red and White to the league’s regular season and tournament championships each year as well.
Matthews returns for her senior campaign – with two seasons of eligibility remaining – on The Hill after ranking seventh in all of NCAA Volleyball in hitting percentage last season with a clip of .444. The Indianapolis, Ind., native racked up 309 kills last season in addition to 95 blocks. Matthews is a two-time All-American and after her Second Team selection this spring, is the highest-ranked All-American in program history.
Briggs, a former C-USA Freshman of the Year and last season’s AVCA South Region Player of the Year landed on the preseason team prior to her junior campaign. Last season, the Ortonville, Mich., native deposited 287 kills to go along with 267 digs, 34 blocks and 21 aces.
Prior to her 2019 campaign on The Hill, Dieudonne had not earned a collegiate postseason laurel. After two season at WKU, she’s worked her way to All-American status. A Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American and AVCA honorable mention selection, Dieudonne led the squad to a collective .344 hitting percentage on the 2020-21 season, which ranked second in all of NCAA. She registered 911 assists along with 130 digs, 35 kills and 34 blocks.
The 2021 season marks the second season of Conference USA utilizing team divisions for volleyball. Travis Hudson‘s crew was predicted to win its division this fall while Rice was picked to repeat in the West.