For the second straight year Northwestern State volleyball has secured an individual honor from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association in its annual All-Louisiana selections.
Sophomore libero Haley Hoang became the second Lady Demon to earn LSWA Libero of the Year on Tuesday which accompanies her first-team selection. She joins Keelie Arneson who secured the honor following both the 2011 and 2013 seasons.
This is the fourth straight year NSU has had a player earn First-Team All-Louisiana.
“We know how talented Haley is in our gym so I’m happy that she was able to get this kind of recognition when her injury cut her season short,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “Haley was on track to have a season that would stand comparably with the other great liberos we’ve had in this program, and that is exactly what we expected of her when we recruited her. We are all looking forward to what she can accomplish during the next few years.”
Hoang continued that strong lineage of talented liberos at NSU, quickly establishing herself as one of the best in the Southland Conference. Adding her name to the list that includes three players with more than 1,000 career digs – Arneson, Channing Burleson and Megan Lohmiller – and hold three of the top five spots in career digs at NSU.
In her first two matches at the position she secured consecutive 20-dig performances as the Lady Demons picked up wins against Louisiana Tech and Grambling. Against the Tigers she established an early-season high with 24 digs in the sweep of the Tigers, nearly half of the team total on the night.
Perhaps her most dominant outing of the season came a week before the injury that cut her season short. Hoang totaled 22 digs in the second and third sets against Southeastern Louisiana in route to a career high 28 in the four-set match, leading a stellar team defensive performance that saw three other players set career highs in digs in the match.
Hoang still led the Lady Demons in digs with 160 on the year, despite playing in only eight matches, averaging 5.93 digs per set during that time, which ranked in the top 10 in the country and led the conference at the time of her injury.
2020-21 LSWA All-Louisiana Volleyball Teams
RS Taylor Bannister Sr. LSU
S Avery Breaux Sr. Louisiana-Lafayette
OH Lexie Douglas Sr. Tulane
OH Kailin Newsome Fr. Southeastern Louisiana
OH Hali Wisnoskie Sr. Louisiana-Lafayette
MH Kayla Dinkins Jr. Tulane
L Haley Hoang So. Northwestern State
S Kailyn O’Neal Jr. Loyola New Orleans
S Karli Rose So. LSU
OH Kelsey Bennett Jr. Louisiana-Lafayette
OH Desire Neal Jr. Dillard
OH Regan Stiawalt Jr. McNeese
MB Vivica Price-Spraggins Sr. Xavier
L Sophia Ervanian Fr. Tulane
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Taylor Bannister, LSU, RS
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Haley Hoang, Northwestern State, L
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Semira Blair, Xavier, S
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Kailin Newsome, Southeastern Louisiana, OH
CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR: Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot, Louisiana-Lafayette; Pat Kendrick, Xavier