Big West Has 16 Players Named To AVCA All-American Teams
Sixteen Big West men’s volleyball players garnered American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American honors, announced the organization Monday.
The Big West led all conferences with five players on the first team and five more on the second team. An additional six players received honorable mention recognition.
Long Beach State topped all schools with four All-America selections among the first and second teamers. A trio of Beach juniors made the first team – outside hitter TJ DeFalco, opposite Kyle Ensing and setter Josh Tuaniga. Hawai‘i teammates Larry Tuileta and Stijn van Tilburg joined the contingent of Big West representatives on the first team.
The five members of the second team included LBSU junior Nick Amado, UC Irvine teammates Karl Apfelbach and Scott Stadick, Hawai‘i junior Joe Worsley and CSUN senior Arvis Greene.
The six honorable mention selections were LBSU freshman Simon Anderson, UC Irvine teammates Aaron Koubi and Joel Schneidmiller, the Hawai‘i duo of Patrick Gasman and Rado Parapunov and UC San Diego senior Tanner Syftestad.
DeFalco earned his third AVCA First Team All-America selection. The 2018 Big West Player of the Year ranked in the Big West top five in hitting percentage, kills per set and service aces per set. He led the conference with 51 aces and 0.55 aces per set. DeFalco averaged 3.61 kills per set and hit .375 overall.
Ensing notched First Team honors after being named to the Second Team in 2017. He hit .357 to rank third in the Big West. His 3.46 kills per set is eighth-best in the Big West while his 0.86 blocks per set is ninth.
Named Most Valuable Player of the inaugural Big West Tournament two weeks ago, Tuaniga directed the nation’s most potent offense to a .379 attack percentage. The Beach setter ranks No. 6 nationally in assists per set (10.50). He is a First Team All-American for the second time in his career.
Tuileta, a Second Team All-American in 2017, earned First Team honors after ranking second in the Big West in digs (2.30 dpg). He had 10 double-figure dig matches this season.
Van Tilburg tallied his second straight AVCA First Team All-America selection as he led the Warriors with a 3.93 kills per set average. That figure ranked third in the Big West. He also ranked seventh in the conference with a .328 hitting percentage.