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Gold Nuggets win 4 major GCAC end-of-season awards (452 hits)

Led by double-winner Kayla Black and repeat winner Eva Le Guillou, Xavier University of Louisiana volleyball earned four major end-of-season Gulf Coast Athletic Conference awards Thursday evening.

The GCAC announced the honors at a banquet for teams participating in the conference tournament, which will begin Friday at SUNO's The Castle. The Gold Nuggets (24-6) are seeded first, have a first-round bye and will play Edward Waters or Talladega in the semifinals at 5 p.m. The championship match will start at 2 p.m. Saturday.

XULA's awards:
• Black — a sophomore from the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, and a graduate of St. Pius X High School — was chosen Player of the Year and Attacker of the Year by the league's head coaches. Black, who has 357 kills and a GCAC-leading 3.68 kills per set, is first-team All-GCAC for the second straight year.

• Le Guillou, a sophomore from Velizy-Villacoublay, France, is Setter of the Year for the second consecutive season. She is first-team All-GCAC, moving up from the 2017 second team. Le Guillou leads the GCAC with 938 assists, the most by a XULA player since 2004.
• Pat Kendrick, who directed the Gold Nuggets to their most-ever regular-season victories and a 14-0 GCAC record, is Coach of the Year.

• Vivica Price-Spraggins, whose .408 hitting percentage leads the GCAC and ranks sixth in the NAIA, is first-team All-GCAC. Price-Spraggins is a sophomore from Chicago and a graduate of Whitney Young Magnet High School.

• Beatrice Formilan, whose 391 digs leads the Gold Nuggets, is second-team All-GCAC. Formilan is a freshman from Santorso, Italy.

• Taylor Ducros, third on the Gold Nuggets with 256 digs and eighth in the conference with 2.78 digs per set, received All-GCAC honorable mention. Ducros is a junior from the New Orleans suburb of Luling, La., and a graduate of NOLA's McGehee School.

NOTES: The Gold Nuggets have three first-team All-GCAC players for the first time since 2014 . . . The GCAC first awarded Attacker of the Year, Setter of the Year and Defender of the Year in 2015. XULA has produced the Setter of the Year all four seasons; Black is XULA's first Attacker of the Year . . . Black is XULA's first Player of the Year since Chinedu Echebelem in 2014 . . . Le Guillou has won three major awards in two seasons; she was Freshman of the Year in 2017 . . . This is Kendrick's ninth coaching award at the conference level. She was Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year eight times during her 30 seasons at NCAA Division I George Mason . . . Black is the fourth Gold Nugget to make first-team All-GCAC as a freshman and sophomore; the others were Moira Kirk (2011-12), Taylor Reuther (2011-12) and Franziska Pirkl (2012-13). Pirkl is in her first season as a XULA assistant coach.

Posted By: Elly Moss
Friday, November 9th 2018 at 11:09AM
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