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USC senior men's volleyball captain Tony Ciarelli was named the AVCA National Player of the Year at the NCAA Championship banquet last night at Galen Center.  The Trojan program becomes the first to have two different players win the award in back-to-back years with Ciarelli joining 2011 MVP Murphy Troy.

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Ciarelli-POY-DA.jpgLosing the likes of Troy, Ciarelli was forced to step up as a leader and offensive focal point in 2012.  He responded by setting the career ace record for the rally scoring era and pushing USC to the No. 1 national ranking on the strength of an 18-match winning streak.

Even more, Ciarelli has the Trojans in line for another NCAA title run after failed Final Four appearances his freshman and junior seasons.  USC will take on Lewis University tonight at 8 p.m. in the national semifinals at Galen with the hopes of advancing to Saturday's final.

USC men's volleyball now has seven National Player of the Year awards with Ciarelli joining Adam Johnson (1986), Tom Duke (1988), Bryan Ivie (1990 and 1991), Donald Suxho (2000) and Murphy Troy (2011).

(Photo of Ciarelli center by Dan Avila)

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How can I listen to tonights game against Lewis? Internet radio?

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