Add another accolade to the resume of BYU’s Taylor Sander, perhaps the best volleyball player in school history.
Thursday, the 6-foot-4 outside hitter was named a First-Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Sander becomes the 11th play in Division I-II men’s volleyball history to earn All-America honors four times.
He was a second-team selection as a freshman in 2011, and a first-team pick the following three years.
The AVCA will announce its Men’s National Player of the Year — of which Sander is a strong candidate — at its annual banquet on April 30 in Chicago.
Of course, the Cougars have a match tonight, an MPSF semifinal against UC Santa Barbara at Smith Fieldhouse (8 p.m. MDT, BYUtv). Here’s my advance on what should be a highly entertaining contest pitting teams that split their regular-season matches.
In a way, Sander’s selection as an All-American shows his importance to the Cougars, because no other players made the 10-member first team, the 10-member second team or the 16-member honorable mention list.
Sander was recently named the MPSF Player of the Year for the second-straight year, the first time a player has won back-to-back PoY honors since 1998-99 (Pepperdine’s George Roumain).
Sander is currently No. 2 in the nation in kills per set, with 4.53. He owns BYU records in career kills (1,685) and service aces in a match (9).
Fourteen of the 20 All-America citations this year went to players from the MPSF, seven first-reamers and seven second-teamers.
UCSB, the only team to take BYU to five sets in Provo this year, placed one player on the second-team, sophomore setter Jonah Self.
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