Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor
The best UC Irvine players at their positions during the decade are receiving a college men’s volleyball honor.
Off the Block announced on Thursday the seven players selected to the UC Irvine All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block.
The All-Decade Starting Lineup recognizes the best players to compete with a team since 2010. Similar to the starting lineup for a match, the All-Decade honor is comprised of a setter, opposite and libero along with two outside attackers and two middle attackers. In addition, three players have been added as bench players to make up a total of 10 roster spots.
The Off the Block staff determined the All-Decade Starting Lineup using a variety of factors including career statistical performance and the team’s overall success when a player was a member of the program.
This is also part of a series from Off the Block to celebrate the end of the decade in college men’s volleyball. Off the Block throughout the rest of 2019 will release an All-Decade Starting Lineup for every NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.
UC Irvine went to four NCAA tournaments during this decade (2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018), having won it all in 2012 and 2013.
Off the Block is a national award-winning website that was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball.
UC Irvine All-Decade Team Presented by Off the Block
Setter: Michael Saeta
Opposite: Carson Clark
Outside attacker: Kevin Tillie
Outside attacker: Tamir Hershko
Middle attacker: Scott Stadick
Middle attacker: Scott Kevorken
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Bench: Zack La Cavera
Bench: Jason Agopian
Bench: Chris Austin
Michael Saeta (2014-17)
Awards and Honors: 2016 Second-Team All-MSPF, 2017 First-Team All-MPSF, 2017 Second-Team All-American
While Saeta is on my all-interview team, Saeta showed his true value to the program through his play all four seasons at UC Irvine. Saeta spent most of his career at setter, but spent some time at opposite He ranked No. 4 and No. 3 nationally with 0.52 and 0.59 aces per game in his junior and senior seasons respectively. UC Irvine ranked No. 1 nationally in 2014 with a .350 attack percentage. In 2017, the Eaters ranked No. 1 in the nation with 12.72 assists per game.
Carson Clark (2009-12)
Awards and Honors: 2010 First-Team All-MPSF, 2010 First-Team All-American, 2011 First-Team All-MPSF, 2011 Second-Team All-American, 2012 First-Team All-MPSF, 2012 First-Team All-American
Clark’s 2010 was his best as he tallied 564 kills on a 5.04 kills per game. He ranked No. 3 nationally with 4.54 kills per game and No. 7 with 0.42 aces per game in 2011, while ranking No. 3 nationally with 0.55 aces per game and No. 12 with 3.73 kills per game in 2012. For his career, he tallied 1,861 kills (4.32 kills per game average) and 183 aces.
Kevin Tillie (2012-13)
Awards and Honors: 2012 First-Team All-MPSF, 2012 First-Team All-American, 2013 First-Team All-MPSF, 2013 First-Team All-American
The French native spent his first two years at Thompson Rivers in Canada before transferring to UC Irvine for his final two seasons of college ball. Tillie’s .387 attack percentage in 2012 ranked No. 3 nationally, while his 3.80 kills per game ranked No. 11. Tillie led the 2013 team in aces per game, attack percentage, and kills per game – all in the Top 20 nationally. Tillie finished his UC Irvine career with 3.76 kills per game (737 total kills) and a .360 attack percentage.
Tamir Hershko (2014-17)
Awards and Honors: 2015 First-Team All-MPSF, 2015 First-Team All-American, 2016 Honorable Mention All-MPSF, 2017 First-Team All-MPSF, 2017 Second-Team All-American
The Israeli native finished his collegiate career with 995 kills, good for a 3.25 kills per game average. His top season was in 2015 when he had 427 kills, good for a 3.59 kills per game average.
Scott Stadick (2017-)
Awards and Honors: 2017 MPSF Freshman of the Year,2017 Honorable Mention All-American, 2018 First-Team All-Big West, 2018 Honorable Mention All-Big West, 2018 Second-Team All-American
Being the coach’s brother-in-law got him to Irvine, but he has shown why he was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school in 2017. Stadick has ranked in the Top 5 nationally in terms of blocks per game each of his three seasons at UC Irvine. His best year was in 2018 when he had 1.322 blocks per game, good for No. 2 nationally. In 2018, Stadick ranked No. 3 nationally with a .422 attack percentage on 253 kills. So far, the middle attacker has a career .414 attack percentage and 1.25 blocks per game.
Scott Kevorken (2011-14)
Awards and Honors: 2011 All-MPSF Freshman Team, 2013 Second-Team All-MPSF, 2014 First-Team All-MPSF, 2014 First-Team All-American
Kevorken finished with 126.5 total blocks in his final two seasons with the Eaters, and finished his college career with a 0.92 blocks per game average. His attack percentage was north of .400 in three of his four seasons, including a blistering .484 in 2013.
Michael Brinkley (2012-15)
Awards and Honors: 2013 First-Team All-MPSF, 2013 First-Team All-American, 2014 Second-Team All-MPSF, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2015 First-Team All-MPSF, 2015 First-Team All-American
You could just start and end with his three First-Team All-American honors, but what fun would that be? He finished his collegiate career with 1,099 digs good for a 2.52 digs per game average.