NSU’s Thompson named state’s top freshman by LSWA

A record-setting rookie campaign earned Reaghan Thompson the top spot among freshman in the state of Louisiana on the 2022 Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association All-Louisiana Team. 

Thompson is the third Northwestern State player to be named Louisiana Freshman of the Year, along with associate head coach, and new mom, Stacey Aldredge and Caitlin O’Connell who won the honors in consecutive seasons in 2011-12. 

She also garnered a spot on the All-Louisiana First-Team, one of four Southland players on the first-team squad and six total overall from the conference. 

Libero Ashlyn Svoboda also received an honorable mention on the 2022 team. 

In just Thompson’s third collegiate match she recorded the second most solo blocks (7) and the third most total blocks (10) in a single match in program history as part of NSU’s record-setting 20 blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson. 

The Kemah, Texas, native went on to have three matches on the season with 10 blocks, producing two kill-block double-doubles on the season. She was the first player to ever record multiple kill-block double-doubles in a career let alone in a single season. Both double-doubles came during conference play less than two weeks apart from each other. 

Her consistent presence at the net led to 148 total blocks for the year, the most by a freshman in program history and the second most in a single season by any player and led the Southland Conference. Her 1.12 per set average was the fourth best for a single season. 

With fellow freshman and shot-stuffer Jordan Gamble, she was part of the first pair of player to each record more than 100 blocks in a single season in school history. 

Her efficiency on the block was also evident on the offensive side finishing with a .340 attack percentage for the year with 271 kills and a 2.05 per set averaged. She led the team, finished second in conference on the year and had the second-best single-season hitting percentage in school history. 

Thompson secured double-digit kills in 12 matches total, including a stretch of seven straight to finish the regular season, with two or fewer errors in seven of those matches. She hit .468 in NSU’s three matches in the conference tournament. 

Svoboda became the sixth different player to record more than 500 digs in a single season in program history with 530, the seventh most in a year in her first full season as the starting libero. 

Along with outside hitter Symone Wesley, she was part of the first duo of players to have 500 or more digs in a single season in NSU history. 

Svoboda finished in the top 10 in conference matches with a 4.05 dig per set average with the fourth most overall digs in the league and fifth-best per set average (4.31). She recorded 20 digs in 10 different matches for the year with a new career-high of 32 coming in conference tournament semifinal against Houston Christian. She averaged 25.3 digs per match across three tournament matches. 

Svoboda, Thompson and eight other returners from the 2022 season, along with five newcomers, begin the 2023 season at Mississippi State on August 25. 


PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Kailin Newsome, Southeastern   

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Reaghan Thompson, Northwestern State   

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Amaya Bazemore, Loyola   

LIBERO OF THE YEAR – Bailey Tillman, McNeese   

COACH OF THE YEAR – Jeremy White, Southeastern   


Anita Anwusi, LSU – Sr., Missouri City, Texas – AVCA South All-Region Honorable Mention  

Sanaa Dotson, LSU – Sr., Houston, Texas – 2022 AVCA South All-Region Selection  

Kendall Glueck, McNeese – Sr., Tomball, Texas – First-Team All-Southland Conference  

Kailin Newsome, Southeastern – Jr., Houston, Texas – AVCA All-South Region Team; First Team All-SLC  

Reaghan Thompson, Northwestern State – Fr., Kemah, Texas – Second-Team All-SLC  

Bailey Tillman, McNeese – So. Sugar Land, Texas – All-SLC Second Team, HM AVCA All-Region  

Kennedy Wade, Xavier – Jr., Gainesville, Fla. – AVCA NAIA All-America (third team)  


Amaya Bazemore, Loyola – Jr., Panama City, Fla. – SSAC All-Conference First Team  

Coco Gillett, Louisiana – So., Bryan, Texas – Team leader in kills and digs  

Cami Hicks, Louisiana – So., Carthage, Texas – 2022 All-Sun Belt Second Team  

Cicily Hidalgo, Southeastern – So., Opelousas, La. – Second Team All-Southland Conference  

Sanni Rantanen, McNeese – Fr., Tampere, Finland – SLC Freshman of the Year, All-SLC Second Team  

Emily Sheperis, Loyola – Jr., Yulee, Fla. – SSAC All-Conference First Team  

Madeline Williams, ULM – Gr., St. Louis, Mo. – Battle for the Boot All-Tournament Team   

Honorable Mention   

Kara Barnes, Louisiana; Sophia Ewalefo, New Orleans; Codi Fillmore, Dillard; Kayla Kaiser, Tulane; Jaycie Proctor, Centenary College; Sheilah Purcell, New Orleans; Ashlyn Svoboda, Northwestern State.