FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2013
2013 AVCA Men's DI-II All-Americans Announced
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2013) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce its 23rd annual AVCA Division I-II Men's All-America Teams. The awards will be presented at the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship Banquet on the campus of UCLA on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
Brigham Young University, UC Irvine and UCLA lead the way placing three athletes in the All-American teams. BYU and UC Irvine each have two on the first team and one in the second while UCLA has two on the second team and one on the first.
Highlighting this year's class with three consecutive AVCA All-American recognitions is BYU's Taylor Sander, who was an AVCA Second-Team All-American in 2011 and was placed on the first team a year ago. UC Irvine's Kevin Tillie joins Sander as the only other repeating AVCA First-Team All-American. Lewis' BJ Boldog, Loyola-Chicago's Joseph Smalzer and Pepperdine's Maurice Torres repeat on the second team while Cal Baptist's Levi Cabral was a two-time AVCA NAIA All-American prior to 2013. This was the Lancers' first season competing in the NCAA D-II's MPSF Conference. In all, 14 of this year's recipients are first-time award winners.
The 2013 selections were made by the AVCA Division I-II Men's Volleyball All-America Committee: chairperson Mark Pavlik (Penn State); Mike Rumbaugh (Saint Francis); Sam Shweisky (Princeton); Kevin Ring (UC San Diego); Rick McLaughlin (UCSB); John Kosty (Stanford); Shane Davis (Loyola); Dan Friend (Lewis); Jeremy Price (Grand Canyon).
AVCA Division I-II Men’s First-Team All-America
Michael Brinkley, a 5-10 libero for UC Irvine, is a sophomore from Huntington Beach, California. Named to the All-MPSF First-Team, Brinkley ranks second in the conference and 10th nationally in digs per set with 2.54. His 272 digs leads the team, which is the fifth-highest single season total in program history. Brinkley is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Levi Cabral, a 6-6 outside hitter for Cal Baptist University, is a senior from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Cabral-led Lancers had a tremendous season competing in their first season in the NCAA MPSF Conference, currently holding a No. 8 ranking in the most recent AVCA Coaches. Cabral finished in the top-3 in the MPSF in kills per set (4.16), services aces per set (0.42) and points per set (4.90). He was named an AVCA NAIA All-American twice before this year, making this his third overall AVCA All-American honor.
Brian Cook, a 6-5 outside hitter for Stanford University, is a junior from Santa Cruz, California. He currently ranks fourth in the nation with 4.01 kills per set while totaling 417 kills in the 2013 season. Cook was a consistent performer with a total of six matches of 20+ kills, matching season-highs of 24 kills twice. Cook is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Taylor Crabb, a 6-0 outside hitter for Long Beach State University, is a junior from Honolulu, Hawai’i. Leading the 49ers to the MPSF Semifinals where they’ll face UC Irvine, Crabb had a tremendous season across the board. Amongst the leaders in the nation in hitting percentage (.351), kills per set (4.13) and points per set (4.66), he was also one of the best in the MPSF averaging 1.72 digs per set. This is the first time Crabb is earning AVCA All-American honors.
Dylan Davis, a 6-9 middle blocker for UC Santa Barbara, is a senior from Newport Beach, California. A strong presence in the middle, Davis’ astounding hitting percentage of .421 leads the country while his 1.35 blocks per set puts him fourth. Davis garners All-American honors for the first time.
Ben Patch, a 6-8 opposite for Brigham Young University, is a freshman from Provo, Utah. The freshman playing for his hometown team has wasted no time in making an impact for the current No. 1 ranked squad in the nation. The MPSF Freshman of the Year is second on the Cougars and 12th in the conference with 3.57 kills per set. He became the first player in AVCA history to earn Sports Imports/AVCA honors in consecutive weeks after being selected the weeks of February 26th and March 5th. Patch earns All-American honors for the first time.
Gonzalo Quiroga, a 6-4 outside hitter for UCLA, is a junior from San Juan, Argentina. He’s one of the top servers in the nation notching 52 aces, which is good for tops in the MPSF Conference. The First-Team All-MPSF Argentinian leads the Bruins in kills (398) and points (480.5) as they will match up with BYU this weekend in the MPSF Semifinals. Quiroga is now a first-time AVCA All-American.
Taylor Sander, a 6-4 outside hitter for Brigham Young University, is a junior from Huntington Beach, California. For the third year in a row, the strong right arm has terrorized his opponents ranking fifth nationally in 2013 averaging 3.85 kills per set while hitting at a .330 clip. The MPSF Player of the Year is equally lethal from behind the service line, breaking the BYU all-time aces record in less than three seasons with a current count of 124. The two-time All-American posted double-digit kills in 24 of 26 overall BYU matches in the regular season, including 13 against Hawai’i in the first round of the MPSF Tournament. After making it to the second team in 2011 and the first team a year ago, this is Sander’s third AVCA All-American appearance.
Kevin Tillie, a 6-6 outside hitter for UC Irvine, is a senior from Cagnus-sur-Mer, France. The two-time First-Team All-MPSF outside leads the Anteaters with 3.79 kills per set, with the next closest teammate being Jeremy Dejno with 2.95. In addition to kills per set, Tillie ranks in the top-15 in the MPSF in service aces per set (0.34), digs per set (1.74) and points per set (4.43). This is his second consecutive year being selected to the AVCA All-American First-Team.
Matt West, a 6-5 setter for Pepperdine University, is a sophomore from Seattle, WA. West is No. 1 in the country averaging 11.25 assists per set helping lead the Waves to a team .295 hitting percentage. He also contributed on the defensive end, finishing the season with 1.40 digs per set and 67 total blocks. West is an AVCA All-American for the first time.
AVCA Division I-II Men’s Second-Team All-America
BJ Boldog, a 6-4 setter for Lewis University, is a redshirt-junior from Palatine, Illinois. One of the top setters in the nation, Boldog put his talents on display last night in the MIVA Semifinals against Grand Canyon collecting 34 assists and nine digs in the sweep. On the season, his 10.36 assists per set places him in the top-10 nationally and 141 digs has him fourth on the Flyers. Boldog repeats as an AVCA Second-Team All-American.
Steven Irvin, a 6-5 outside hitter for Stanford University, is a junior from Pacific Palisades, California. He led the Cardinal to a No. 6 seed in the MPSF Tournament, where despite the loss to No. 2 Long Beach State, Irvin nailed 17 kills and hit .481 in the match. The California native was second on the team in kills (334) and kills per set (3.31) while notching four, 20-kill performances. Irvin earns AVCA All-American accolades for the first time.
Russ Lavaja, a 6-7 middle blocker for Brigham Young University, is a senior from St. Charles, Illinois. He ranks first on the Cougars and fourth in the MPSF hitting at a .456 clip. Defensively, he also leads the team with 98 blocks and his 1.18 blocks per set average places him 11th in the country. Lavaja is now a first-time AVCA All-American.
Collin Mehring, a 6-7 middle blocker for UC Irvine, is a junior from San Jose, California. One of the best middles in the sport, Mehring currently places second in the MPSF with a .480 hitting percentage and sixth in blocks per set with 1.28. In the March 1st contest against BYU, he set a school record with 14 block assists, which is good for the most in a single MPSF match this season. This is Mehring’s first AVCA All-American recognition.
Evan Mottram, a 6-2 libero for UCLA, is a redshirt-junior from Leona Valley, California. His 259 digs (2.12 per set) lead the Bruins as they head to the MPSF Semifinals against top-seeded BYU. Mottram garners AVCA All-American honors for the first time.
Connor Olbright, a 6-4 setter for Long Beach State University, is a junior from Orange, California. Olbright earned his first All-MPSF award after finishing the regular season ranked fourth in the conference with 10.76 assists per set. His current 10.82 assists per set average places him fifth in the nation and fourth in the MPSF. Defensively, he’s tallied 201 digs this season, just two back of the team leader and libero Andrew Sato. This honor marks his first AVCA All-American appearance.
Geoff Powell, a 6-4 outside hitter for Lewis University, is a redshirt-sophomore from Claremont, California. In just a short time, Powell has been heavily relied on by the Flyers to be one of their anchors, and he has not let them down. Taking nearly 800 swings this season, the California native averages 3.66 kills per set (13th nationally), and is third on the team in digs (165) and blocks (73). Powell is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Spencer Rowe, a 6-6 middle blocker for UCLA, is a junior from Trabuco Canyon, California. Ranked third in the MPSF in hitting percentage attacking at a .459 clip, he was equally impressive on the defensive end leading his team with 107 total blocks. Against Pepperdine in the MPSF Quarterfinals, the junior tallied another seven blocks in the sweep. Rowe is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Joseph Smalzer, a 6-8 opposite for Loyola University-Chicago, is a redshirt-junior from Palos Heights, Illinois. Smalzer nationally ranks as one of the top offensive players in the game, currently ranked No. 1 overall in aces per set (0.66), No. 3 in points per set (4.80) and No. 6 in kills per set (3.81). That’s not to take anything away from him defensively; the redshirt-junior is third on the Ramblers with 142 digs and total blocks with 62. After being named to the second team a year ago, Smalzer earns All-American accolades for the second consecutive year.
Maurice Torres, a 6-7 opposite for Pepperdine University, is a senior from Riverside, California. Widely regarded as one of the top all-around players in the nation, Torres has the numbers to back it up leading the nation in points per set (5.02), second in kills per set (4.21), and 14th in aces per set (0.36). He also ranks first on the Waves averaging 1.56 digs per set, and is third in total blocks with 82. This marks Torres’ second consecutive AVCA Second-Team All-American honor.
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to develop the sport of volleyball and its coaches. With a membership of over 6,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.
AVCA Media Relations & Awards Support Specialist