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Former Walton standout Phoebe Awoleye (19) led Georgia in blocks as she earned all-freshman honors from the SEC.

Georgia’s Phoebe Awoleye was named as one of seven members of the 2020-21 Southeastern Conference volleyball all-freshman team Sunday.

The Walton High School standout is the third Bulldog to receive that honor under head coach Tom Black’s tenure.

At middle blocker, Awoleye started in 17 of 18 matches played this season for Georgia. She led the team in blocks with 63 and was fifth in the SEC in blocks per set with 1.05.

As a team in 2019, Georgia finished with 1.7 blocks per set and 188.5 blocks in 30 total matches. This year with Awoleye, Georgia ranked fourth in the SEC in total blocks and blocks per set with 189 and 2.25 in just 22 matches.

“This award speaks to so many things that are special about Phoebe,” Black said. “She arrived early to (Georgia) to learn a new position, had her preparation cut short by a pandemic, and through her competitiveness and work ethic, found a way to excel, becoming a top-five blocker in the SEC in a short amount of time.”

Awoleye also contributed offensively. She registered 66 kills, which was the sixth most on the team, and she tied Mallory Downing for sixth on the team with eight service aces.

Black also touched on Awoleye’s immediate impact in the locker room, calling her “a phenomenal teammate.”

“She cares about the people around her and how well we are all coming together as a team,” Black said. “She’s earned the right to be proud of what this award represents, and we cannot wait to see where she and her teammates take this program in the coming years.”

Awoleye joins Kacie Evans as two current Bulldogs to be named to the SEC All-Freshman team, as Evans received the honor following her freshman season in 2019.

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Printed with permission from The Red & Black independent student media organization based in Athens.

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