SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Five members of the ninth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team were named to the 2015 All-MPSF Team, it was announced by the conference on Thursday afternoon.
This is the second consecutive season that the Gauchos have had five all-conference honorees, tying a program record set a year ago. It is also just the second time in school history that UCSB has had multiple First Team recipients.
Junior setter Jonah Seif earned his third career All-MPSF nod with a First Team selection. Senior outside hitter Kevin Donohue joined Seif on the First Team, picking up his first career conference accolade.
Rounding out UCSB's award winners were senior middle blocker Jake Staahl (Second Team, second career All-MPSF selection), senior outside hitter Weston Nielsen (Honorable Mention), and freshman libero Hayden Boehle (Honorable Mention, All-MPSF Freshman Team).
"I'm very proud of these five guys, but more so our entire team," said head coach Rick McLaughlin. "These awards are well deserved, but don't happen unless each guy on the team understands his role and puts the good of the team first. We have a very unselfish group, and they are still 100% focused on achieving something no UCSB men's volleyball team has yet, a National Championship."
One of the most well-rounded setters in the college game, Seif spent another season near the top of the leaderboards in most statistical categories. Heading into the postseason, he ranks fourth in the MPSF in assists (10.2 per game), 10th in aces (0.35 per game, third-best among MPSF setters), and sixth in digs (2.23, second-best among conference setters).
Jonah really stepped up his game down the stretch for UCSB, as he has recorded double-doubles in four consecutive and six of the last eight matches overall. With a strong senior season, he has the chance to join UCSB legend Jeff Menzel as the only four-time All-Conference recipients in program history.
A redshirt senior and one of the few remaining members of the 2011 Final Four squad, Donohue becomes just the second UCSB outside to garner First Team All-MPSF status since the start of the McLaughin era (2009). He paced the entire conference in kills through the first half of the season, finishing third with 3.69 kills per game, the highest average by a UCSB hitter since Menzel in 2011.
A three-year starter for the Gauchos, Staahl had another solid campaign at the net in 2015, ranking third among MPSF players in hitting percentage at .421 and seventh in blocks at 1.18 per game. He was one of just two players in the conference (Hawaii's Taylor Averill being the other) to reach those figures. He enters this weekend with the fifth-most rally scoring era blocks in program history (329).
One of the finest passers to suit up for the blue and gold in recent years, Nielsen finished 11th in the conference in kills (2.85 per game) despite missing three of the final six matches of the season due to injury.
Lastly, Boehle had a spectacular rookie campaign from the back row, notching 2.18 digs per set for the season, which led all MPSF freshmen and was tied for seventh among all conference players. The Loyola High School product finished with double-digit scoops on five occassions.
Elsewhere, UC Irvine's Zack La Cavera was named the Player of the Year leading the league in total kills (394) while UCLA's J.T. Hatch was named Freshman of the Year after pacing all first-year players with 2.85 kills per game.
UCSB will open postseason action this Saturday night, as they travel south to take on third-seed Pepperdine in the MPSF Quarterfinals. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.