LAFAYETTE — Louisiana Volleyball’s Kelsey Bennett is the recipient of the first Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week award for the 2021 season, the conference office announced on Tuesday (Aug. 31, 2021).
Bennett was rewarded for her efforts at the Southern Miss Classic in Hattiesburg, Miss., during the opening weekend of the collegiate volleyball season, which also marked the official start of the Kristi Gray era.
The junior outside hitter hit above .250 all four matches and averaged 3.8 kills per set in guiding Louisiana to a 3-1 mark.
She concluded the weekend with 57 kills on a .301 hitting percentage over 15 sets, earning the first all-tournament honor of her collegiate career.
The Allen, Texas product’s hitting percentage was .300-plus in three of the four outings in Hattiesburg including a career-high 24 kills on a .310 percentage vs. Southern Miss.
Bennett turned in three double-doubles of kills and digs, adding a 20-plus dig effort (22) to complement her 24 kills against the Golden Eagles.
It’s the first career SBC Offensive Player of the Week award for Bennett and her second weekly award overall adding to the SBC Defensive Player of the Week honor received back on Nov. 18, 2019.
Louisiana now has at least one Sun Belt OPOW winner in each of the last three seasons (2019-21), as Bennett joins former teammate Hali Wisnoskie, who claimed the award once in 2019 and 2020, as recent recipients.
Bennett and her teammates return to the court in Nacogdoches, Texas, from Friday-Saturday, Sept. 3-4 competing in a tournament hosted by SFA at Shelton Gym. On Friday, Louisiana faces Texas A&M Corpus Christi at 11 a.m. and then the host-LadyJacks at 6:30 p.m. live on ESPN+. The Ragin’ Cajuns conclude tournament play on Saturday at 11 a.m. vs. Northern Arizona.
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