LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sophomore Lake Merchen of the University of California, Santa Cruz was named First Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Monday.
Merchen becomes part of the elite Slug Alumni that have played at UCSC. He is the 14th different Slug to garner AVCA All-American honors which is the 4th most in NCAA DIII history. Last year, Jacob Landel (1st Team), Jorge Reyes (2nd Team), and Jake Hurwitz (2nd Team) received All-American honors.
Merchen led the Slugs to a #6 National Ranking in his second season at UC Santa Cruz. He reached the 500 career kill mark against Ramapo this season on March 13. This year, Merchen led the Slugs in kills with 305 while hitting .336 and was second with 137 digs.
"Lake joins a long list of legendary All-American Slugs that have come through this program to set the standard for returning players," said Head coach Paul Leon. "He is very deserving of this prestigious honor for a multitude of reasons and too long to list."
Leon added, "Not only has he continued to elevate his level of play throughout the year, but as a sophomore, he has demonstrated his mental strength and fortitude as an outside attacker. The team responds in a very positive manner whenever he is on their side of the court."
After hearing of the announcement Merchen said, "I'm very honored and grateful to be selected as an All-American this year. Our coaches Paul, Mauro, and Shane did a fantastic job this year preparing the team and getting us to where we are now. We are all very excited for the 2017 season and can't wait to have another shot at winning an NCAA Championship."
Leon is looking for another great season in 2017. He adds, "I am thrilled to have a high caliber player like Lake returning next year as a junior and I'm even more excited to see how he utilized his off season to come back even more dominant."