volleyball

Freshman Celeste Darling (5) spikes the ball as the Ragin' Cajuns take on the UTEP Miners on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019.

Every year, Louisiana volleyball works tirelessly to become better athletes and a better team. Let’s take a look back to the 2010 season highlights to see how the team compared to our last season in 2019.

Although the 2010 season record outshines that of the most recent season, looking closely at the specifics shows the team stats for 2019 are impressive as well.

In 2010, the Ragin’ Cajuns went 17-16 overall, 7-9 in the Sun Belt conference, 10-2 for home games, and 4-9 for away games.

Louisiana volleyball walked away with a solid 17 victories for the first time in a decade and qualified for the Sun Belt Tournament for the first time since 2002.

These statistics didn’t come as a surprise as the Ragin’ Cajuns were led by Head Coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot, all-time winningest head coach in Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball history.

Lesley Mirarchi, a junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010, was another huge asset to the Ragin’ Cajuns Volleyball team. By her junior year, Mirarchi was named All-Sun Belt - Second Team and All-Louisiana - Second Team, the first UL athlete to earn All-Sun Belt honor since 2002.

She also led the team on offense with 364 kills (2.98 kills per set), and was a defensive asset with 98 block assists, finishing with 106 total blocks. Lastly, she was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week for Sept. 27 after recording a 0.365 attacking percentage in the opening conference weekend.

For the 2019 season, however, Louisiana Volleyball had an overall record of 14-16, a 10-6 conference record, an 8-6 home, and a 6-5 away record. This left the Ragin’ Cajuns nationally ranked in the Top 20 with a placing of No. 9 for their entire season.

In comparison to the 2010 season, however, the defensive stats for 2019 were improved. The total number of digs for the season was 1967, with digs per set averaging at 17.9.

The number of attacking and blocking errors on the season decreased significantly, solo blocks increased by almost 30, and the average number of kills per set increased. Each one of these show improvements made both individually and by the team as a whole.

This past season was also a big one for Coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot, as she celebrated her 400th career win as a collegiate head coach.

These strides in the right direction didn’t go unnoticed, though. Total attendance for the semester went up by almost 3,000. This was powerful, not only for the women on the court, but for the school as a whole.

While the women of Louisiana volleyball have been putting in work on the court, they also make it a priority to excel in the classroom and community.

This year the NCAA announced its Public Recognition Awards, and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball program finished among the top 10% of their sport based on the most recent Academic Progress Rates.

Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Academics Services Christy Alford said: "For our volleyball team to achieve at this level is incredible. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication our volleyball student-athletes demonstrate on a daily basis in balancing academics, athletics, and community service.”

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