Kendrick is Nuggets’ first-ever region coach of year

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has produced another first for its volleyball program with the selection of Pat Kendrick as the 2018 American Volleyball Coaches Association NAIA All-Southeast Region Coach of the Year.

The AVCA cited three XULA student-athletes, all sophomores, in the region. Kayla Black was voted to the first team, and Eva Le Guillou and Vivica Price-Spraggins received honorable mention.

The Gold Nuggets were 26-7 this season and 14-0 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. For the eighth consecutive year they won GCAC regular-season and tournament championships and qualified automatically for the NAIA National Championship tournament.

Kendrick, in her second season at XULA, led the Nuggets to their first-ever victory against a ranked NAIA opponent when they defeated No. 22 Indiana Wesleyan in four sets in August. Her team set school season records with a .262 hitting percentage and 1.85 blocks per game.

All three honored sophomores set school season records. Black, from Spring, Texas, and a graduate of St. Pius X High in Houston, set marks with 407 kills, 3.84 kills per set and 23 matches of 10-or-more kills. Le Guillou, from Velizy-Villacoublay, France, set records with 1,037 assists and 9.78 assists per set. Price-Spraggins, from Chicago and a graduate of Whitney Young Magnet High School, hit a school-record .400 and became the first-ever XULA player to reach 200 kills, 30 aces and 75 blocks in the same season.

Black is the fifth Gold Nugget and first sophomore to earn first-team all-region, joining Kimberlee Rock (2004), Taylor Reuther (2013), Claudia Haywood (2015) and Juliana Tomasoni (2017).

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