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Gunter Garners SEC Freshman of the Week Honors

STARKVILLE – After recording 4.29 digs per set in Mississippi State volleyball’s series sweep of Ole Miss, freshman libero Lilly Gunter has been named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week as announced by the league office on Monday (Feb. 15).

Gunter helped State’s defense hold Ole Miss to a .140 hitting percentage between two matches, including a .057 mark in the series opener – the lowest average for an MSU opponent this season. The freshman tallied 19 digs in that first contest, tying the second highest count by an SEC player during the 2020-21 campaign.

“I am extremely proud of our team for a huge series against Ole Miss,” MSU volleyball head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. “Having a libero like Lilly back there to anchor us in serve-receive and in our defensive effort is a huge part of why we had success.

“Lilly continues to make strides with her game, and she has a desire to keep getting better. She is never satisfied. I think that Lilly’s ability to handle the ball is putting us in positions to be more successful, and it’s really exciting to see what she will be able to contribute in her career. I have always known how special Lilly is and what kind of impact she would make here, so it’s pretty cool to see that playing out as we continue to work towards achieving our goals as a program.”

Gunter is the first Bulldog to win SEC Freshman Player of the Week since Deja Robinson and Paige Shaw did so during their rookie campaign in 2018. She is also the second MSU player to win an SEC weekly award this season after Callie Minshew was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week as she helped State sweep its series at No. 7 Texas A&M in November.

MSU’s libero now ranks No. 8 in the league in digs (3.25 per set) and No. 3 among SEC freshmen.

Gunter and the Bulldogs will finish out their four-match home stand this weekend when they welcome No. 9 Florida to the Newell-Grissom Building for a two-match series Friday and Saturday (Feb. 19-20). Fans can watch both matches on the SEC Network+ digital platform.

For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching @HailStateVB.