With 2 days to go before the start of the 2018 MPSF Conference Tournament, which will determine the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship tournament, the All-MPSF selections for 2018 have been announced.
The top awards went to Pepperdine outside hitter David Wieczorek as the MPSF Player of the Year and BYU freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez as Freshman of the Year.
Wieczorek, a redshirt juniior from Chicago, is one of just two outside hitters to rank in the top 15 in the conference in both hitting percentage (.358) and kills-per-set (3.94). That hitting percentage ranks him 16th in the country, and the kills-per-set average ranks him 7th. Only Stanford’s Jaylen Jasper has a higher kills average among MPSF players this season (3.99).
He also leads the conference and ranks 3rd nationally with .59 aces-per-set and leads the conference in points-per-set (4.96). An all-around player, he’s one of just two outside hitters to be ranked in the top 15 in the conference in blocking.
This is the all-time record seventh MPSF Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year award for Pepperdine, and the first in nine years (Paul Carroll-2009; Jon Winder-2007; Sean Rooney-2005; Brad Keenan-2002; George Roumain-1999, 1998).
As for Garcia Fernandez, he exploded as a freshman to help fill the significant offensive gap left for the Cougars by the departures of Jake Langlois (graduation) and Ben Patch (turning pro) after last season. He averaged 3.44 kills-per-set to rank 5th in the MPSF, had 46 aces, second-most in the conference, and leads the conference with 434 total points.
He ranks 2nd among freshman nationally in points-per-set (4.34), behind only fellow MPSF rookie – the aforementioned Jasper from Stanford (4.40).
Garcia Fernandez is the fifth Cougar to be named MPSF Freshman of the Year (Ben Patch-2013; Taylor Sander-2011; Yamil Perez-2007; Ryan Millar-1996).
The conference also announced its 11-member All-MPSF first team, 10-member All-MPSF second team, and 10-member All-MPSF Honorable Mention Team. 7 players were also named to the conference’s All-Freshman team (Fernandez and Jasper were the only freshman to earn First Team honors).
UCLA outside hitter/libero JT Hatch was named to the All-MPSF Second-Team, making him the only player on this year’s roster to earn 4 All-MPSF honors in his career. Wieczorek and UCLA setter Micah Ma’a, both first team selections this year, will have a chance to imitate that next season with another year of eligibility remaining for each.
Honorees Per Team
|Team||2018 MPSF Record||1st team||2nd team||Honorable Mention||Freshman Team|
Full List of 2018 Honorees