Hawai’i, Long Beach dominate All-America teams

Photo courtesy of Hawaii athletics

Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor

The AVCA announced its All-American teams on Monday, and the First-Team was comprised of players from only the Big West and MPSF.

Eight of the 10 players on the First Team came from the top three teams in the current AVCA poll – No. 1 Hawai’I, No. 2 Long Beach State, and No. 3 Pepperdine. The other two First-Team selections came from No. 7 UCLA – setter/outside attacker Micah Ma’a and middle attacker Daenen Gyimah. Top-seeded Hawai’i, who leads the nation in all major statistical categories except aces per game anddigs per game, led all teams with four players on the First-Team.

Nine of the 10 players named to the First-Team were also repeat honorees. Long Beach outside attacker TJ DeFalco became just the third player ever to be named to First-Team for all four years of his collegiate career (Costas Theocharidis, Erik Shoji). Long Beach setter Josh Tuaniga received All-America honors for the fourth time in his career (three times on the First-Team).  

Both MPSF Player of the Year (Pepperdine outside attackerDavid Wieczorek) and Big West Player of the Year (Long Beach opposite KyleEnsing) were named to the First-Team.

The Second-Team had three players from Lewis, highlighted by MIVA Player of the Year, Lewis setter Matt Yoshimoto. No players from the ConfCarolinas or EIVA made the Second-Team, while no player from an Independent team received All-American Honors.

Of the teams that made the NCAA Tournament, Hawai’I led all with five selections. Long Beach State, Lewis, and Pepperdine had four each, while USC had three, and Princeton had two. Barton’s lone selection was ConfCarolinas Player of the Year, opposite Angelos Mandilaris (Honorable Mention.) USC opposite Ryan Moss and Pepperdine opposite Michael Wexter were the only players named to the MPSF First-Team, but not named to either All-America First or Second-Team; both NCAA Tournament teams only had one player named to the First or Second-Team.

Perhaps a bit of a surprise may have been the coaches’selection for Newcomer of the Year – UC Santa Barbara outside attacker Ryan Wilcox– winner of the Big West Freshman of the Year award. Also in contention for theaward was BYU outside attacker Davide Gardini.

The awards were voted on by a committee of ten coaches, two each from the Big West, ConfCarolinas, EIVA, MIVA, and MPSF. The awardees will be honored at a banquet on Wednesday.

All-America First-Team

Outside attacker – TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Opposite – Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
Middle attacker – Daenan Gyimah, UCLA
Setter/outside attacker – Micah Ma’a, UCLA
Opposite – Rado Parapunov, Hawai’i
Setter – Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State
Outside attacker – Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i
Outside attacker – David Wieczorek, Pepperdine
Libero – Gage Worsley, Hawai’i
Setter – Joe Worsley, Hawai’i

All-America Second Team

Middle attacker – Nick Amado, Long Beach State
Libero – Hayden Boehle, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker – Corey Chavers, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker – Ryan Coenen, Lewis
Opposite – Gabi Garcia Fernandez, BYU
Middle attacker – Patrick Gasman, Hawai’i
Outside attacker – Collin Mahan, Loyola
Middle attacker – Tyler Mitchem, Lewis
Outside attacker – Jack Wyett, USC
Setter – Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis

All-America Honorable Mention

Opposite – Karl Apfelbach, UC Irvine
Libero – Avery Aylsworth, Loyola
Setter – Paul Bischoff, Stanford
Libero – Kyle Dagostino, Stanford
Outside attacker – Kaleb Denmark, Pepperdine
Outside attacker – Parker Dixon, Princeton
Outside attacker – Jordan Ewert, Stanford
Outside attacker – Michael Fisher, Saint Francis
Outside attacker – Davide Gardini, BYU
Outside attacker – Gianluca Grasso, USC
Opposite – Jake Hanes, Ohio State
Opposite – George Huhmann, Princeton
Opposite – Jaylen Jasper, Stanford
Outside attacker – Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN
Opposite – Angelos Mandilaris, Barton
Opposite – Ryan Moss, USC
Setter – Robert Mullahey, Pepperdine
Middle attacker – Paul Narup, Loyola
Outside attacker – Joel Schneidmiller, UC Irvine
Libero – Michael Simmons, Lewis
Outside attacker – Pelegrin Vargas, Purdue Fort Wayne
Opposite – Hayden Wagner, George Mason
Opposite – Michael Wexter, Pepperdine
Outside attacker – Ryan Wilcox, UC Santa Barbara
Setter – Garrett Zolg, Loyola

Newcomer of the Year

Outside attacker – Ryan Wilcox, UC Santa Barbara