SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara freshman Ryan Wilcox was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Newcomer of the Year while seniors Hayden Boehle and Corey Chavers landed on the All-America Second Team, it was announced on Monday afternoon.
Wilcox, who was also named the Big West Freshman of the Year earlier this month, burst onto the scene for the Gauchos and ranked fifth in the nation among freshman with 254 kills (2.54 kills per set). The Honolulu, Hawai'i native finished the year with a .256 hitting percentage and finished fourth among all freshman in the country with 25 aces. Excluding libero, Wilcox led UCSB with 121 digs and added 29 total blocks. Wilcox put together a season-high of 14 kills in wins against Loyola (Ill.) and BYU and was named Big West Freshman Player of the Week a conference-high four times. In conference play, the 6-foot-2 outside hitter only got better as he averaged 3.00 kills per set and reached double-figure kill totals in seven of UCSB's 10 conference matches.
Chavers paced the Santa Barbara offense all season long en route to his first career All-America recognition. The Downey, Calif. native earned his second straight First Team All-Big West accolade after a standout senior campaign where he earned three Big West Player of the Week awards, an AVCA National Player of the Week award, and two Off the Block's Outside Attacker of the Week honors. Chavers led UCSB and the Big West with 370 kills while ranking 14th in the nation. His 3.46 kills per set were good for fifth in the league and he also finished with 40 service aces, 120 digs and 61 total blocks. During the Gauchos' record breaking 12-match win streak, Chavers rattled off a streak of his own with 10 consecutive double-digit kill matches. For the year, Chavers reached double figure kills in 21 of UCSB's 28 matches and had a season-best of 22 come on senior night against UC Irvine. He will go down in the UCSB record books as his 96 career service aces rank fourth all-time in program history.
Rounding out the trio of honorees is Boehle, who joins his fellow co-captain Chavers as a first-time All-America recipient. After redshirting last season, Boehle was a welcome addition back to the team at libero, adding First Team All-Big West honors to his resume while leading the conference with 266 digs. That mark was good for third-best in the nation while his 2.46 digs per set ranked sixth in the country. The Westchester, Calif. native earned two Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards during the season and his 693 career digs are the eighth best in UCSB history. His 266 digs this season will go down as the fifth best in Santa Barbara single-season history. Boehle was a consistent force on the defensive end, reaching double-figure digs in 15 matches and had a season-high of 18 digs in a five-set win at CSUN.