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3 Blossoms earn conference honors

by Special to The Commercial | April 8, 2021 at 2:43 a.m.

RUSSELLVILLE -- Katie Pearson, Katelyn Richbourg and Faith Wilemon earned All-Great American Conference honorable mention after leading the University of Arkansas at Monticello to the fourth seed in the Eastern Division for the GAC Tournament.

Pearson, of Kansas City, Mo., finished the regular season fifth in the conference in total assists with 368 and fifth in assists per set with 9.68. She moved into fourth in UAM history in career assists after posting 36 in the Blossoms' first-round match against Ouachita Baptist giving her 1,299 during her time at UAM. She collected her 1,000th career assist in a win over Southern Arkansas on Feb. 23. Pearson also ranks second in program history averaging 9.21 assists per set in her career. She earned GAC Setter of the Week twice during the season including after setting a career-high in assists with 56 against SAU in the final match of the regular season.

Defensively, the senior was third on the team with 122 digs averaging 2.90 per set.

Richbourg, of Magnolia, Texas, led the Blossoms in digs with 261 and digs per set with 6.21. At the conclusion of the regular season, she was third in the conference in digs per set at 5.87 and fourth in total digs with 227. The junior also earned GAC Defensive Player of the Week following a win over Ouachita Baptist on Feb. 9 in which she tallied a program-best and career-high 41 digs averaging 10.25 per set.

On offense, Richbourg was second on the team with 31 assists and tied for third with nine service aces on the season.

Wilemon, a freshman from Spring, Texas, led UAM in kills with 112 and points with 119.5 while ranking second in kills per set at 2.71. She finished the regular season 12th in the GAC averaging 2.74 kills per set and 20th in points per set with 2.89.

The freshman also contributed on defense finishing fourth on the team with 10 blocks.

UAM defeated Ouachita Baptist 25-18, 25-21, 14-25, 25-20 to advance to the quarterfinal round and take on top-seed Harding at 6 tonight in Searcy. The win is the Cotton Blossoms' first in GAC Tournament history (since 2011).

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