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Louisiana Volleyball Held Annual Red and White Scrimmage Wednesday

Bennett and Gillett Named to Preseason All-Sun Belt Volleyball Team
UL Volleyball Red and White Scrimmage.jpg
Posted at 11:39 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 00:39:05-04

LAFAYETTE – Outside hitters Kelsey Bennett and Coco Gillett, both All-Sun Belt Conference selections in 2021, represented Louisiana Volleyball on the 2022 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Volleyball team, the conference office announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The honors, and preseason poll, were voted upon by the league’s 14 head coaches. Louisiana was one of only four programs with multiple preseason honorees.

Bennett and Gillett were the leading point producers for the Ragin’ Cajuns offense in 2021 that set the program’s rally-scoring era record with a .230 hitting percentage.

The 2022 season marks the senior campaign for Bennett who has been an annual key contributor both offensively and defensively for Louisiana. An All-Sun Belt selection two years running (2020, 2021) and first team performer last season, Bennett is coming off a third consecutive 200-200 season of kills and digs, and the first-ever 300-300 season of her collegiate career.

The final 2021 tallies for Bennett included 374 kills and 338 digs, she scored double digits in kills in all but five of Louisiana's 26 matches, and generated 15 double-doubles including three 20-20 double-doubles of kills and digs.

Gillett accumulated 294 kills and netted 329 total points for Louisiana during the 2021 season, landing her a second team selection in the SBC’s postseason honors. She produced double digits in kills 17 times, highlighted by a streak of nine consecutive matches with double-digit kills from Sept. 10 through Oct. 9, and led the Ragin' Cajuns with 23 kills at a rate of 3.8 per set at the SBC Tournament.

In the preseason poll, the Ragin' Cajuns were picked fourth, and received a first-place vote, in the SBC West Division. Only two points separated Louisiana and third-place Troy.

Bennett, Gillett and their Ragin’ Cajuns teammates are set to take the court at Earl K. Long Gym on Wednesday, August 17 in the program’s annual Red and White Scrimmage. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and admission is free.

Louisiana operates an efficient and exciting offense by utilizing head coach Kristi Gray's up-tempo system. The Ragin' Cajuns return many key pieces to their productive offense including the leading point producers in outside hitters Kelsey Bennett and Coco Gillett, bring back the one-two middle blocker punch of Kara Barnes and Cami Hicks, and have setters Siena DeCambra and Reka Kotorman to once again guide the offense.

Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB []), Facebook (/RaginCajunsVB []) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB []) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Volleyball.

Fans are also encouraged to stay engaged with the Ragin' Cajuns by downloading the #GeauxCajuns app. Click here [] for iOS/Apple platforms and here [] for Android platforms.

2022 Preseason All-Sun Belt Volleyball Team

Emily DeWalt, Texas State (S, 5-10, Gr., Helotes, Texas)

Janell Fitzgerald, Texas State (OH, 6-1, Gr., Mansfield, Texas)

Julia Brooks, Troy (MB, 6-1, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.)

Kailey Keeble, South Alabama (S, 5-8, Jr., Maryville, Tenn.)

Kelsey Bennett, Louisiana (OH, 6-0, Sr., Allen, Texas) 

Jada Gardner, Texas State (OH, 6-1, Gr., Cibolo, Texas)

Miëtte Veldman, James Madison (OH, 5-10, Jr., Daleville, Va.)

Sophia Davis, James Madison (MB, 6-1, Sr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Baylor Bumford, Georgia Southern (MB/RS, 5-11, Gr., Winter Garden, Fla.)

Coco Gillett, Louisiana (OH, 5-10, So., Bryan, Texas) 

Macey Putt, Arkansas State (OH, 6-0, Gr., Ozark, Mo.)

Niki Capizzi, South Alabama (MB, 6-3, Jr., Huntington Beach, Calif.)

Maddie Soboleski, South Alabama (S, 6-0, R-Jr., Erie, Pa.)

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year:

Janell Fitzgerald, Texas State (OH, 6-1, Gr., Mansfield, Texas)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year:

Niki Capizzi, South Alabama (MB, 6-3, Jr., Huntington Beach, Calif.)

Preseason Setter of the Year:

Emily DeWalt, Texas State (S, 5-10, Gr., Helotes, Texas)

Preseason Libero of the Year:

Rachel Hickey, South Alabama (L, 5-4, Sr., Mishawaka, Ind.)

2022 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
First-place votes in parentheses

East Division

Coastal Carolina – 90 (7)

James Madison – 90 (6)

Georgia Southern – 67 (1)

Marshall – 49

Old Dominion – 39

Georgia State – 31

App State – 26

West Division

South Alabama – 92 (8)

Texas State – 88 (5)

Troy – 63

Louisiana – 61 (1) 

Arkansas State – 39

Southern Miss – 31

ULM – 18

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