All of the All-American teams are out and as is the case every year there are players who can make the argument they got snubbed.
The AVCA and Volleyball Magazine each recently released their 2012 NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball All-American teams. All the athletes selected to these teams are well deserving, but with any All-American list there is a group of players who just missed out.
Check out the top 10 non-All-American players who had a case to earn the national honor this year.
2012 ALL-SNUBBED TEAM FROM ALL-AMERICAN HONORS
Steven Hunt — Hawai’i, outside attacker
His All-American case: Hunt, a Second-Team All-MPSF selection, was second in the MPSF and third in the nation with a 4.15 kills per game average. He also becomes the second MPSF player in the last five years to be in the nation’s top five for kills per game average and not earn All-American honors.
What likely hurt his case: Hunt had the numbers but playing on a last place team did in the senior. No player in recent history has earned All-American honors while playing on a team that finished in sole possession of last place in their conference.
Matt West — Pepperdine, setter
His All-American case: West, a All-MPSF Freshman Team selection, was second in the nation with a 11.38 assists per game average and helped guide Pepperdine’s offense to a .284 attack percentage. With West starting every match, Pepperdine returned to the MPSF Tournament after missing the postseason last year.
What likely hurt is case: West and Pepperdine beat the teams they were suppose to beat in MPSF play, but never pulled a big signature upset in conference play. In addition, West’s strong freshman year was often overshadowed by USC freshman setter Micah Christenson, who helped lead the Trojans to the NCAA championship match.
Sean Daley — Pacific, middle attacker
His All-American case: Daley led the nation with 26 solo blocks and was fifth in the nation with a 1.47 blocks per game average. The senior also was an Off the Block Blocker of the Year finalist as Pacific ended the year in 10th place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the conference tournament.
What likely hurt his case: Daley had the numbers that warranted All-American consideration. However, the Tigers failing to make the conference tournament put Daley behind other All-American worthy middle attackers on teams that did make the postseason.
Cody Kessel — Princeton, outside attacker
His All-American case: Kessel, the 2012 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, led the EIVA and was seventh in the nation with a 4.00 kills per game average. In addition, the freshman had five matches with at least 20 kills, including in a road victory against UC San Diego and in a near-upset agaisnt Penn State.
What likely hurt his case: Princeton has not had a player earn All-American honors since 1997 — making it all the more difficult for Kessel as a freshman to get necessary votes. With Kessel next season being the top returning EIVA outside attacker, expect him to be in the All-American running in 2013.
Robert Feathers — USC, middle attacker
His All-American case: Feathers, the 2012 Off the Block Blocker of the Year and All-MPSF Freshman Team selection, led the nation with a 1.60 blocks per game average and was one of two players in the nation with more than 150 total blocks. He also helped USC win the MPSF regular season title and reach the Final Four.
What likely hurt his case: Feathers put up strong numbers in his freshman year but he was overshadowed by the other USC starters who earned All-American honors. In addition, USC middle attacker Steven Shandrick as a senior and co-captain of the team was a more appealing and sentimental choice for voters.
Piotr Dabrowski — George Mason, middle attacker
His All-American case: Dabrowski led the nation with 157 blocks and was fourth in the nation with a 1.48 blocks per game average. The junior was a Second-Team All-EIVA selection as George Mason finished in third place in the EIVA and reached the conference tournament championship match.
What likely hurt his case: Dabrowski didn’t have the name recognition outside of the East Coast — or for that matter outside of Fairfax, Va. The Patriots struggles at the beginning of the season also had less people paying attention to the team until the end of the year.
Peter Jasaitis — Loyola, libero
His All-American case: Jasaitis, First-Team All-MIVA selection, led the MIVA and was second in the nation with a 2.73 digs per game average. The sophomore also helped Loyola finish in third place in the MIVA and reach the conference tournament semifinals.
What likely hurt his case: It’s tough for more than the required one libero to make an All-American team, and it’s even tougher when going up against Stanford All-American libero Erik Shoji. In addition, Loyola’s struggles on the West Coast to open the season after having such high preseason expectations caused Jasaitis to lose some votes
Josh Taylor — Pepperdine, outside attacker
His All-American case: Taylor, a All-MPSF Freshman Team selection, was in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.52 kill per game average and had four matches with at least 20 kills. The freshman also helped Pepperdine reach the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals after it missed the postseason in 2011.
What likely hurt his case: Taylor’s performance this year was overshadowed by Pepperdine All-American outside attacker Maurice Torres. It was also likely tough for voters to giver Pepperdine two All-American selections when it finished in seventh place in the MPSF.
Matt Jones — Harvard, outside attacker
His All-American case: Jones was ninth in the nation with a 3.83 kills per game average and in the nation’s top 20 with a .305 attack percentage. The First-Team All-EIVA selection also helped Crimson become nationally ranked for the first time in their program history and reach the EIVA Tournament semifinals.
What likely hurt his case: Harvard was the feel good story of the year, but the team’s non-conference schedule hindered Jones’ chances. Despite their three-match West Coast road trip, the Crimson had five matches against Division III or NAIA schools.
Ben Ponnet — Grand Canyon, outside attacker
His All-American case: Ponnet, a First-Team All-MIVA honoree, was among the MIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.63 kills per game average and was in the nation’s top 50 in attack percentage. In addition, Grand Canyon had its best season in its program history and hosted a MIVA Tournament match.
What likely hurt his case: Grand Canyon wasn’t exactly on most people’s radar this season — even in the preseason the Antelopes were the unanimous pick in the MIVA preseason poll to finish in last place. Ponnet had the numbers to make a case but being in a growing program from the MIVA limited his chances.