Tony Ciarelli Named MPF Player Of The Year
April 19, 2012
USC senior outside hitter Tony Ciarelli has been named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men's Volleyball Player of the Year, while Trojan freshman setter Micah Christenson has been selected as the MPSF Freshman of the Year.
Senior middle blocker Steven Shandrick joined Christenson on the All-MPSF second team, while sophomore libero Henry Cassiday, freshman middle blocker Robert Feathers and sophomore opposite hitter Tanner Jansen made All-MPSF honorable mention. Feathers also was on the All-MPSF Freshman team.
They have helped USC--riding a 17-match winning streak--to a No. 1 national ranking, a second consecutive MPSF regular season title for the first time ever and the top seed in the MPSF Tournament that begins this Saturday (April 21). The Trojans host eighth-seeded Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.
Ciarelli is the second Trojan in a row (and just the second ever) to win MPSF Player of the Year honors, following Murphy Troy in 2011. It is the first time since 1998 and 1999 that the same school produced the league Player of the Year in back-to-back years (Pepperdine's George Roumain both years). Ciarelli currently leads the nation in aces (0.60) and is tied for fourth in kills (.403) while hitting .313. He owns the MPSF all-era record for aces in a match (11 at Long Beach State this year), as well as the USC rally scoring era career (157) and season (52 this year) records for aces. He was named the MPSF Player of the Week three times in 2012.
Christenson, who has started all season after a stellar prep career in Hawaii, is the second Trojan to win MPSF Freshman of the Year honors, joining Brook Billings in 1999. He is tied for fourth nationally in assists (10.92), and he also has 154 digs and 64 blocks.
Shandrick is tied for 20th nationally in blocks (1.08) and is hitting .434. His .454 career hitting percentage is a USC rally scoring era record. Cassiday is 17th in the nation in digs (2.23). Feathers leads the country in blocks (1.67) and his 135 total blocks is a USC rally scoring era record. Jansen is hitting .288.