University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff senior Haley Gomez became the first volleyball player in the Southwestern Athletic Conference to win consecutive Blocker of the Year honors and was one of three student-athletes to earn postseason accolades announced by the conference Thursday evening.
Gomez, sophomore Zyonn Smith and sophomore Nikole Akamine played a significant role in helping UAPB rank in the top four in 10 categories in the SWAC. Gomez finished with a season-high nine blocks earlier this season against UA Fort Smith.
Gomez currently ranks first in the conference in blocks per set (1.25) and eighth in hitting percentage (.292). She ranks fifth in the SWAC in total blocks (64), second in service aces (18), and sixth in points (2.96 per set). She tallied season highs of 13 kills, 20 points, 4 aces, and 9 blocks in regular-season play.
For her career, Gomez has 27 aces, 657 kills and 560 blocks.
Smith was named second-team outside hitter. She ranks sixth in the conference in kills (2.54 per set) and ranks seventh in the conference in points (2.92 per set). Smith had a season-high 15 kills and 25 digs against Prairie View A&M.
Akamine was named second-team setter, making All-SWAC for the second consecutive year. She currently leads the team in assists (508) and service aces (38), and is third in digs (204). Ranking seventh in the SWAC in service aces (.38 per set), Akamine had a season-high 26 assists against Grambling State.
UAPB played Southern University on Friday in the first round of the SWAC tournament.