BYU opposite Fernandez wins 2020 National Player of Year

Photo courtesy of BYU athletics

BYU opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez is capping off a career-best season with the top individual honor in college men’s volleyball.

Fernandez was selected as the AVCA National Player of the Year that was announced Thursday.

The junior led the nation with a 0.92 aces per game average and had a career-high 56 aces — three more aces than service errors during the season. Among his top serving performances included a season-high eight aces in a sweep against No. 1/2 Hawai’i days before the remainder of the season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Fernandez was in the nation’s top 15 with a 4.00 kills per game average and had a career-best .343 attack percentage. He also had more than 20 kills in three matches, including 22 kills while hitting .415 in a season-opening road victory against Loyola.

BYU opened the season on a 17-match winning streak and ended the shortened season ranked No. 1 in both the national coaches poll and the national media poll.

This is the fifth major award that Fernandez has earned this year. Fernandez also won the MPSF Player of the Year, the Bryan Ivie Award as the nation’s top opposite, the National Server of the Year and the Dain Blanton Diversity Award.

The Cougars have now won the National Player of the Year award three times in their program history. Outside attacker Taylor Sander was the last player to earn the honor in 2014, while Carlos Moreno won the award in 2004.