Merchen, Howard named to AVCA All-America Teams

Merchen, Howard named to AVCA All-America Teams

LEXINGTON, KY - Junior outside hitter Lake Merchen was named to the AVCA First-Team All-American team while senior opposite Jake Howard was named to the Second team as chosen by the nine-person AVCA Men's Division III Volleyball All-America Committee.

"I am very proud for both Merchen and Howard," said head coach Paul Leon, himself a former UCSC All-American. "They were huge contributors to the ongoing success of our season and both represented our university with pride."

Merchen becomes the fourth UCSC player to be a two-time first-team All-American, and the first since Salvatore La Cavera in 2011 & 2013. He hit .349 with 231 kills this year, adding a team-high 22 service aces and was third with 125 digs.

Howard led the Banana Slugs with 242 kills on the season, hitting .250 with 18 service aces and 28 total blocks. He graduates in the school's top-five career kills chart.

"Merchen will return stronger than ever to finish out his senior year; adversaries beware," Leon said. "Howard will take his valued experiences with him after graduation to pursuit his passion of film production. As a program, we are honored for recognition and strive to continue the winning tradition of UCSC volleyball."