Bannister and Flickinger Earn SEC Postseason Honors
The All-SEC Team, which consists of 18 student-athletes, along with the seven-member All-Freshman squad were chosen by the league’s head coaches.
This is the fourth season in a row that Bannister has earned All-SEC honors. The Missouri City, Texas native was also on the 2017 SEC All-Freshman team.
Throughout the season Bannister was dominant. She finished the year with 385 kills in 88 sets to average 4.38 kills per set, the second highest mark in the SEC. Her 5.11 points per set were also the second most in the league.
“Taylor once again demonstrated that she is one of the best players in the SEC,” said LSU head Coach Fran Flory. “She had an outstanding year and is very deserving of this award.”
Bannister played some of her best volleyball towards the latter part of the season, earning back-to-back SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors following LSU’s matches against South Carolina (3/13-3/14) and Georgia (3/19-3/20).
Against the Gamecocks, Bannister recorded what was at the time a season-high .345 hitting percentage with 25 kills on 55 attempts with just six errors. The following day she had 15 kills to bring her weekend total to 40.
Not only was she named Offensive Player of the Week for her performance against Georgia the next week, but she was also named SEC Player of the Week, which featured potentially the best match of her historic career.
On March 19, Bannister recorded 30 kills, the second most in a match throughout her career, and hit .481. The following day, Bannister moved to No. 2 on LSU’s all-time kills list and with the right-side set to return next year with her additional year of eligibility, she is positioned well to move into the top spot on that list. Bannister sits at 1,640 career kills and sits only behind Nyla Shepherd who had 1,735 kills in her career.
Flickinger entered her freshman season after having a great high school at Byron Nelson High School. The Roanoke, Texas native earned Gatorade Texas Player of the Year twice before becoming a Tiger. Flickinger was able to make an immediate impact for LSU.
“Paige had an immediate impact for us and carried a huge role throughout the year,” said Flory. “She is a great volleyball player and certainly earned this recognition on the court.”
She showed offensive and defensive playmaking abilities throughout her freshman season with the second most kills on the team (195) only behind Bannister and second most digs on the team (240) only behind Raigen Cianciulli, LSU’s all-time digs record holder.
Throughout the season that spanned both the Fall and Spring Semesters, Flickinger had seven double-doubles, all of which came with kills and digs. Twice she recorded back-to-back double-doubles. Her final double-double came against Georgia on March 20 and helped LSU win its fourth in a row, the season’s longest winning streak, with 14 kills on 35 attempts with three errors for a .314 hitting percentage and 21 digs.
During LSU’s sweep of Ole Miss on February 27, Flickinger recorded her season and career-high of 20 kills, tied for the most kills in the SEC during a three-set match this season. She had only five errors on 37 swings to finish with a career-high .405 hitting percentage.
Jillian Gillen, Arkansas
Holly Carlton, Florida
T’ara Ceaser, Florida
Lauren Forte, Florida
Thayer Hall, Florida
Gabby Curry, Kentucky
Madison Lilley, Kentucky
Avery Skinner, Kentucky
Madi Skinner, Kentucky
Alli Stumler, Kentucky
Azhani Tealer, Kentucky
Taylor Bannister, LSU
Gabby Waden, Mississippi State
Kylie Deberg, Missouri
Anna Dixon, Missouri
Andrea Fuentes, Missouri
Mikayla Robinson, South Carolina
Lily Felts, Tennessee
SEC All-Freshman Team
Taylor Head, Arkansas
Elli McKissock, Florida
Phoebe Awoleye, Georgia
Madi Skinner, Kentucky
Paige Flickinger, LSU
Lilly Gunter, Mississippi State
Riley Whitesides, South Carolina
Player of the Year: Madison Lilley, Kentucky
Libero of the Year: Gabby Curry, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year: Taylor Head, Arkansas
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jillian Gillen, Arkansas
Co-Coaches of the Year: Jason Watson, Arkansas and Craig Skinner, Kentucky