« Volleyball 2017

Alyssa Cavanaugh

Western Kentucky
Outside Hitter
Recreation Administration


Alyssa Cavanaugh has spent time on the WKU Dean’s List during her time on The Hill, recording a cumulative 3.13 GPA in the classroom while majoring in recreation administration. She also landed on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll following the 2016 season.


Coach Travis Hudson had this to say on Cavanaugh’s character: “Alyssa Cavanaugh’s a special talent both on and off the court. She’s understood throughout her career the impact she’s capable of having on other people. Alyssa’s not someone who came in thinking [about] leadership; she was more focused on her play. However, as the time nears for her to leave the program, she’s started understanding she has the ability to impact people in this world as a volleyball player and away from the game as well. Her growth and maturation throughout her career has been what I will remember most about Alyssa.

“While Alyssa’s athleticism stands out, it’s her competitive will that can’t be taught or coached, but when you combine both elements, you get a tremendous player. Early on, Alyssa had more of a one-track mind, but as she’s grown she’s understood that as part of a team sport it’s about where you can take ‘us.’ I’ve watched her grow, mature and understand that, and turn into a clear leader of our team in an unassuming manner. In her senior year, Alyssa’s now accomplishing things not many collegiate volleyball players do, but she’s not the one talking about it, and that’s an amazing growth.

“Get Alyssa in a competitive setting and she’s going to deliver, and she’ll be able to take that along in life with her as well. Those things aren’t exclusive to volleyball. She’s bright and driven, and if she attacks life with that same determination, you’ll see a very special outcome.”


Outside of the classroom and off of the court, Cavanaugh continues to find time to be involved in the community. The Louisville, Ky., native is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and is also active in fundraising for the Hope 4 Harlie Foundation and Friends of Jaclyn Foundation with WKU Volleyball. Through the WKU Athletics Department, Cavanaugh is heavily involved with the Hilltoppers with Heart campaign, to which she has donated her time and efforts for the United Way Day of Caring, annual Stuff the Bus fundraiser, Autism Awareness Day, Boys and Girls Club and National Girls and Women in Sports Day. She has also spent countless hours volunteering at volleyball camps, making appearances in local classrooms to read and many other opportunities.


A three-time AVCA All-American (honorable mention 2014-2016), Cavanaugh is WKU Volleyball’s go-to player when they need something accomplished. The senior’s name is etched throughout the record book, posting 1,537 career kills while maintaining a .300+ hitting clip. Cavanaugh was WKU’s female student-athlete of the year following her 2016 campaign with 516 kills, the sixth-most in a single-season. Currently in fourth on the program’s all-time kills list, her 3,460 career attacks ranks seventh as well. The 2016 Conference USA Player of the Year has five career All-America nods thanks to the AVCA, VolleyballMag.com and PrepVolleyball.com, becoming the first player to earn all three in one season. Defensively, Cavanaugh has 233 digs and 181 blocks. She set WKU’s single-match hitting record with an .818% showing during the home-opener of her senior year (18K-0E-22A). As a junior, Cavanaugh was the only OH in the country to hit .343+ on 1,000+ swings.

Cavanaugh was the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2014 and a first-team All-Conference selection all three years while earning a spot on the C-USA All-Tournament Team twice (2014, 2016). The Lady Toppers have a combined 105-15 record with her on the squad in addition to a 44-2 record in C-USA action while never losing a league match at home. Cavanaugh has won three regular season C-USA Championships, three C-USA Tournament Championships and made three NCAA Tournament appearances during her successful career. She also has earned invitations to the U.S. national team tryouts at the OTC the past three years.