Men's Volleyball
    Tony Ciarelli Named AVCA National Player Of The Year
    (l to r) Steven Shandrick, Tony Ciarelli, Micah Christenson, Henry Cassiday
    (l to r) Steven Shandrick, Tony Ciarelli, Micah Christenson, Henry Cassiday

    May 2, 2012

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    USC senior outside hitter Tony Ciarelli was named the 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association Men's Division I-II National Player of the Year, the AVCA announced today (May 2) at its annual awards banquet at USC's Galen Center.

    It is the seventh time--and second year in a row--that a Trojan has been named a National Player of the Year. The others: Adam Johnson in 1986, Tom Duke in 1988, Bryan Ivie in 1990 and 1991, Donald Suxho in 2000 and Murphy Troy in 2011.

    It is just the third time that a school has had consecutive AVCA National Players of the Year since the organization first presented the award in 1991. UCLA's Jeff Nygaard, who is currently an assistant coach at USC, won it in 1994 and 1995 and the Bruins' Stein Metzger followed as Co-Player of the Year in 1996. Pepperdine's George Roumain won it in 1998 and 1999.

    Ciarelli, who in the past two weeks was named to the AVCA All-American first team and was the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year, leads the nation in aces (a school record 0.63) and is fifth in kills (4.05). He has 1,605 kills, 661 digs, 282 blocks and 164 aces in his 4-year starting career. His 164 career aces ties the USC all-era record and his 59 aces in 2012 is a USC rally scoring era record (he is approaching the USC all-era mark of 63), and his 11 aces at Long Beach State this year is an MPSF all-era standard.

    He has helped USC into the NCAA Championships, where the No. 1-ranked Trojans face Lewis in a semifinal match on Thursday (May 3) in USC's Galen Center at 7 p.m.

    Also honored at the AVCA banquet were USC All-American second team picks Steven Shandrick, Henry Cassiday and Micah Christenson, who was presented with the AVCA Newcomer of the Year trophy.