LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team makes its much awaited and official home debut of the 2023 season when they host the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic from Thursday-Saturday, September 14-16 at E.K. Long Gym in Lafayette.
The home opener is set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday (Sept. 14) against Nicholls. Louisiana continues play in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic on Friday (Sept. 15) at 6:00 p.m. vs. New Orleans and closes out the event at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 16) vs. Prairie View A&M.
Louisiana is also celebrating Alumni and Family Weekend throughout the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic, kicking it all off with a tailgate party hosted by UL Ministries from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
UL Volleyball and the Junior League of Lafayette have partnered for “Find the Good Day” on Thursday. Together, they are holding a period supply and diaper drive to support the health of women and children in the Acadiana.
Admission to all UL Volleyball home matches throughout the season is free and open to the public. Parking, free of charge for the event, is available in the parking lots surrounding E.K. Long Gym.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (6-5) are in search of securing a winning mark heading into Sun Belt Conference play which opens September 21-22 at E.K. Long Gym vs. Troy.
Louisiana aims to build upon its most efficient weekend to date, hitting .250-plus (.300-plus twice) all three matches and averaging 13 kills per set on a .307 percentage at the UNF Invitational last weekend. Leading the way in Jacksonville was Celeste Darling who landed 36 kills (3.3/set) on a .333 percentage.
The Cajuns are led offensively by Shyia Richardson and Darling who have both surpassed 100 kills to date. Cami Hicks leads the frontline defense with 32 blocks (6 BS, 26 BA), while Mya Wilson has emerged on the block lately with 17 of her 25 blocks occurring since September 1.
Setter Siena DeCambra has averaged double figures in assists per set when she runs the 5-1 attack. Kennedy Gustafson and Mio Yamamoto both average three-plus digs per set to pace the back row efforts. Gustafson (12 aces) and Chelsea George (11 aces) are leading the charge at the service line.
Louisiana Volleyball hosts Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 14-16 | Lafayette, La. (E.K. Long Gym)
– Nicholls: Louisiana leads, 58-19 | Last match: W, 3-0 on 8/31/2018 at E.K. Long Gym
Streak: UL +2
– New Orleans: UNO leads, 47-34 | Last match: W, 3-0 on 11/7/2012 at E.K. Long Gym
Streak: UL +2
– Prairie View A&M: Louisiana leads, 10-0 | Last match: W, 3-0 on 9/17/2011 in Arlington, Texas
Streak: UL +10
= After three weeks on the road, Louisiana makes its official home debut at E.K. Long Gym hosting the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic from Sept. 14-16.
= The tournament brings a close to the non-conference portion of the Cajuns 2023 schedule.
= UL’s sweep of Texas Southern at the UNF Invitational clinched a winning record (6-5) on the season-opening, 11-match road stretch.
= The Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic kicks off a five-match homestand which continues next week with the Sun Belt opener vs. Troy (Sept. 21-22).
= UL rediscovered its offensive rhythm at the UNF Invitational, scoring 13 kills per set while hitting .307.
= Fast starts have been the norm, with Louisiana claiming the first set in eight of 11 matches so far.
= Celeste Darling was highly productive and efficient during last week’s four-match stretch: she scored 43 kills on a .356 hitting percentage.
= Shyia Richardson is averaging 3.6 kills per set. She’s already surpassed the century mark (125 kills).
= Setter Siena DeCambra averaged 11-plus assists per set each of the first two weeks. At the UNF Invitational, DeCambra averaged 10.7 assists per set.
= Cami Hicks, an All-Sun Belt selection in 2022, posted a career-high 107 blocks last season.
= Kara Barnes hit .310-plus the previous three seasons, tallying 150-plus kills each time.
= Lauryn Hill (109 kills in SBC play as a freshman) and Shyia Richardson (pair of 200-kills seasons), are primed to take over as top producers at outside hitter.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
The Ragin’ Cajuns continue their homestand and begin Sun Belt Conference play when they welcome the Troy Trojans to E.K. Long Gym for a two-match series scheduled for Thursday-Friday, Sept. 21-22.
First serve for both nights of the Louisiana-Troy series is set for 6:00 p.m., with live coverage available on ESPN+ and CajunStats.com.
Louisiana opens SBC play at home for the first time since the 2021 season (Kristi Gray’s inaugural season). The Cajuns and Trojans meet on opening weekend for the second straight year, the two teams splitting a series in Troy, Alabama last September.
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