Volleyball: Taylor Gates Receives Repeat Recognition for Sun Belt Weekly Award
Captured SBC Freshman of the Week award for the second straight week
LAFAYETTE – For the second consecutive week Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball right side hitter Taylor Gates has been named the Sun Belt Conference's Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday. Gates turned in a second consecutive week of two-plus kills per set with a .300-plus hitting percentage during Louisiana's sweep of Lamar, which kept the squad's undefeated start to the 2020 season intact. The Kansas City area native averaged 2.5 kills per set on a .316 hitting percentage over 38 total swings in the doubleheader with Lamar. She totaled 15 kills over the six sets competed in – a new season-best overall weekend total. Her weekend performance was highlighted by an eight-kill effort in the finale which was generated by playing error-free on just 14 swings on a .571 hitting percentage. Gates also helped Louisiana (6-0) keep its current streak of consecutive sets won (now 15 straight) by landing five kills throughout a tightly contested second set in Saturday's opener, and had a hand on the block which secured set point in the 27-25 win. It's the fifth SBC weekly award of the 2020 season for the Ragin' Cajuns. Hannah Ramirez claimed defensive player of the week honors following the season-opening weekend, then last week Gates along with Hali Wisnoskie (offense) and Avery Breaux (setter) were honored. The five SBC weekly awards mark the most collected by Louisiana since claiming eight in the 2017 campaign which featured a record-setting 13 conference victories and a 20-win campaign. Gates is the first Ragin' Cajun to receive multiple SBC Freshman of the Week awards since Wisnoskie was a three-time winner in 2017. Off to the program's best start since the 2014 team won its first 10 matches, Louisiana travels for the first time in the 2020 season when the squad visits Little Rock to begin Sun Belt Conference play Friday-Saturday, Sept. 25-26. It marks the debut of the three-match series the conference is utilizing to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Match times at the Jack Stephens Center are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by the series finale at 1 p.m. on Saturday.