DALLAS- WKU Athletics saw volleyball’s katie isenbarger and softball’s Shelby Nun named the Conference USA 2021-22 Scholar Athlete of the Year in their respective sports, the league office announced Monday. Nunn, an outgoing fifth year, helped the Hilltoppers to a pair of East Division titles and the C-USA Tournament Championship during her time on The Hill. Isenbarger, a rising fifth year, has helped the Red and White to six combined regular season and tournament championships with a season yet to go.
The awards, voted on by the conference’s 14 Faculty Athletics Representatives, are presented to the top student-athletes in each conference-sponsored sport based on academic achievement (GPA), athletic achievement and service over the course of their intercollegiate career.
Isenbarger and Nunn are the seventh and eighth student-athletes from The Hill to receive the award since WKU joined C-USA in 2014. They join Mary Lever (2015, Cross Country), Ellinor Haag (2016, Women’s Golf), Kendall Noble ( 2016 & 2017, Women’s Basketball), Morgan McIntyre (2018, Track & Field), Jessica Lucas (2018, Volleyball) and Mary Joiner (2021, Women’s Golf) in the exclusive club.
Both Hilltopper student-athletes check all the boxes to qualify for the prestigious Conference USA award.
Isenbarger has not just excelled at every level in one sport, but two. The Zionsville, Ind., native has also competed for the Track & Field program in the high jump every season that hasn’t overlapped with volleyball. During the 2021-22 indoor season, Isenbarger earned NCAA All-American status with a fifth-place finish at the Indoor Championships. In volleyball, Isenbarger has helped the Hilltoppers to the NCAA Tournament Second Round each of the last three seasons including the program’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance during the 2020-21 campaign.
Additionally, Isenbarger is a two-time All-Region selection (volleyball), two-time NCAA Outdoor East Regional high jump qualifier (track & field), two-time Second Team All-Conference honoree (volleyball) and three-time All- Conference jumper (track & field), along with winning the 2018-19 C-USA Outdoor high jump championship as a freshman. Isenbarger holds both WKU’s indoor and outdoor program high jump records in track and field and is a two-time WKU TOPSY Award winner for Female Record-Breaking Performance of the Year. Most recently, she was named the 2022 John O. Oldham Female Student-Athlete of the Year as well.
Isenbarger has racked up over 250 hours giving back to the community in various ways across her career at WKU including volleyball camps, SAAC involvement, Habitat for Humanity, FCA and much more. She’s collected numerous academic awards across her career de ella as well including seven semesters on the WKU President’s List, four years of earning C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal honors and landing on the C-USA All-Academic Team in both volleyball and track and field this past season.
On the dirt, Nunn has written her name all over the WKU Softball record books after a fifth-year career at her hometown school. She’s a two-time C-USA All-Tournament Team selection, two-time All-Conference honoree, the 2022 C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year and earned a spot on the 2018 All-Freshman team. Nunn set the program record with 149 career pitching appearances. She’s second on the list for career saves (9), relief appearances (62) and wins (64). Nunn finished fourth on WKU’s single-season pitching wins list with 23 this past season and is fifth on the program’s all-time list for innings pitched with 582.
Most recently, Nunn earned NFCA Third Team All-Region honors for her stellar 2022 campaign that featured a 1.87 ERA, 23-7 record, 16 complete games, six shutouts, 180 innings pitched, 120 strikeouts to just 29 walks and a .224 opposing batting average.
Between her involvement with FCA, softball games and reading in elementary school classrooms on top of her work at local hospitals, Nunn has racked up over 1,500 hours in the community. In the classroom, the Bowling Green, Ky. Native has been named an NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete all four seasons the award was distributed. Nunn has also spent nine semesters between the WKU President’s and Dean’s Lists in addition to earning a spot on the 2022 C-USA Softball All-Academic Team.