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BYU men's volleyball: 3 Cougars named All-American

Published April 25, 2013 11:16 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Junior Taylor Sander and freshman Ben Patch were named first-team AVCA All-Americans, while senior Russ Lavaja was named to the second team. BYU hosts the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, which begins Thursday at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Patch also earned AVCA Newcomer of the Year, while Sander earned the honor for the third consecutive season. He was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2011 and was placed on the first team last year.

The AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced at the NCAA Championship Banquet on May 1.

Patch, a 6-foot-8 opposite from Provo, was the MPSF Freshman of the Year. He is second on the team and 12th in the conference with 3.57 kills a set. He became the first player in AVCA history to earn Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks after being selected the weeks of February 26th and March 5th. Patch earns All-American honors for the first time.

Sander, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter from Huntington Beach, Calif., ranks fifth nationally with a 3.85 kills average while hitting at a .330 clip. He was selected the MPSF Player of the Year.

Lavaja leads the Cougars and is fourth in the MPSF hitting at a .456 clip. Defensively, the 6-foot-7 middle blocker also leads the team with 98 blocks, and his 1.18 blocks per set average places him 11th in the country. Lavaja is a first-time AVCA All-American.