UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the first time in program history, four members of the UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America teams, it was announced Tuesday. The same quartet of Gaucho senior that were named to the Big West All-Conference teams just a week prior repeated in the postseason recognitions, but this time at the national level.
Setter Casey McGarry headlined the awards being named First Team All-America, with opposite Randy DeWeese and middle blocker Keenan Sanders were named to the second team. Outside hitter Roy McFarland earned a spot on the honorable mention list.
McGarry, who was a force all year on the floor becoming the first Big West player to lead the conference in both assists p/set and digs p/set, also becomes the first Gaucho since Dylan Davis since 2013 to be named to the first team. In just 16 matches the Manhattan Beach, Calif. native matched his season-high in total assists (593) and set new personal marks in digs, blocks, points, and kills. He notched 30+ assists in all but one match despite 10 of the team's contests coming in three-set sweeps and found a season high 53 assists in a five-set loss to now top-ranked BYU. His career-high in digs came in the team's reverse sweep of No. 9 Penn State, where the Gaucho vet scooped up 20. He was also named to the Big West All-Conference First Team
DeWeese was named First Team All-Conference and picked up his first All-American recognition in a year where the senior transitioned from the setter position to playing opposite, and the Gaucho's top kill-getter was not phased by that challenge. His 3.70 kills per set mark ranked 16th in the country landing 207 kills and he found new career-highs in nearly every category with the exception of assists.
DeWeese was remarkable throughout the season but truly found his rhythm late in the non-conference slate going on a terror in the team's final slate of matches. In the team's last five matches, DeWeese tallied 76 kills for an average of 4.47 kills per set, broke his career-high in kills twice, set his career-high dig record, and earned back-to-back Big West Player of the Week Awards.
Sanders, who was named a Freshman All-American in 2017 and earned a First Team All-Conference nod this season, was the face of the efficiency for the Gauchos. The middle blocker finished atop the Big West Conference and second in the country in hitting percentage posting a career-high .521 attack line with 113 kills. It took just 188 swings to accomplish that feat thanks to his career-low 15 errors, which paced the nation. He also saw his best mark defensively ending the season with a 1.05 blocks per set mark.
He eclipsed 10+ kills in four different matches and in each of those matches carried an attack percentage of .550 or higher. His season high of 12 kills came in the team's first sweeping of No. 6 Pepperdine where he landed a .563 hitting percentage and his most efficient match came in the team's first loss to BYU where he notched 10 kills on 14 swings with zero errors for a line of .714. He posted a season-high six block assists in the reverse sweeping of Penn State.
McFarland earned his first national honor after appearing in 50 of the team's 56 sets this season and garnering a career-high 2.48 kills per set, which toppled his previous best of 1.94 in 2018. This improvement put him on the Big West radar as well leading him to his first all-conference award being named an honorable mention. McFarland found improvements across the board setting new career-highs in attack percentage (.264), digs per set (1.58), blocks per set (0.56) and total blocks (28). His season-high came in the team's five set loss to BYU where he totaled 15 kills and he added 12 kills on three separate occasions and recorded a 12 kill, 10 dig double-double in its win over No. 15 Ohio State.
Only two previous times have the Gauchos earned three All-American awards (1986 & 2019).
Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics