Long Beach State setter Tuaniga wins 2018 National Player of Year

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga earned the top individual honor in college men’s volleyball after guiding one of the most potent offenses recent NCAA history.

The All-American junior was selected as the 2018 AVCA National Player of the Year that was unveiled Wednesday at the NCAA Tournament banquet in Los Angeles.

Tuaniga led Long Beach State to a nation-best .379 attack percentage as the 49ers opened the season on a program record 24-match winning streak and won the inaugural Big West Tournament championship. The 49ers’ offense also is in position to set the NCAA record for the highest single-season team attack percentage during the 25-point rally scoring era.

Along with winning the National Player of the Year, Tuaniga last week won the 2018 Lloy Ball Award as the nation’s top setter.

The third-year starter is sixth in the nation with a 10.50 assists per game average. In addition, Tuaniga is in the top 10 of the Big West with both 26 aces and a 1.78 digs per game average.

This is the second consecutive year that 49er has won the National Player of the Year. All-American outside attacker TJ DeFalco won the award as a sophomore last season.

Long Beach State is the first team to have back-to-back recipients of the AVCA National Player of the Year since USC’s Murphy Troy in 2011 and Tony Ciarelli in 2012.

Tuaniga also is the first setter to win the national honor since former Stanford setter Kawika Shoji in 2010.

Long Beach State as the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed will play the two-time defending NCAA champions Ohio State in the VolleyFour on Thursday.