TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State’s go-to superstar, tops the 2019 VolleyballMag.com NCAA men’s All-American team.
DeFalco did it all for Long Beach and his 49ers not only repeated as national champions, DeFalco took the honor for the second straight year. In 2018, he and teammate Josh Tuaniga shared the player-of-the-year award. This year, Tuaniga also got votes, but DeFalco was tops among our voters.
Those two were joined on the first team by teammate Kyle Ensing.
UCLA has two players on the first team, Micah Ma’a and Daenan “Kofi” Gyimah. The squad is rounded out by Pepperdine’s David Wieczorek, UC Santa Barbara’s Corey Chavers, and BYU’s Gabi Garcia Fernandez.
Wieczorek, van Tilburg, Ma’a, and Gyimah were all VBM first-teamers in 2018.
The national freshman of the year is UC Santa Barbara’s Ryan Wilcox.
And the coach of the year is Long Beach State’s Alan Knipe. As one voter said, “what he did was just too impressive to vote for anyone else.”
DeFalco, who is from nearby Huntington Beach, had a team-leading 366 kills this season, 3.52 per set and hit a remarkable .397 from the outside. He had 62 assists, a team-leading 57 aces, and was second in digs with 166, 1.6 per set. He also had 70 blocks, 10 solo.
And in the NCAA final, DeFalco had a championship-match-high 20 kills as he hit .516, and added four assists, three aces, five digs and three blocks.
Wilcox, a product of Honolulu, was second on UCSB’s team in kills with 254, 2.54 per set, and added 13 assists, 25 aces, 121 digs and 29 blocks.
Knipe led Long Beach to a remarkable season in which the 49ers went 28-2 and battled to the end with Big West rival Hawai’i, ultimately beat the Rainbow Warriors 3-1 in the title match.
2019 VolleyballMag.com All-Americans
Player of the year: TJ DeFalco, Sr., OH, Long Beach State
Freshman of the year: Ryan Wilcox, OH, UC Santa Barbara
Coach of the year: Alan Knipe, Long Beach State
TJ DeFalco, Sr., OH, Long Beach State
Josh Tuaniga, Sr., S, Long Beach State
Kyle Ensing, Sr., Opp., Long Beach State
Joe Worsley, Sr., S, Hawai’i
Gage Worsley, Soph., L, Hawai’i
Stijn van Tilburg, Sr., OH, Hawai’i
Rado Parapunov, Jr., Opp., Hawai’i
Micah Ma’a, Sr., S/OH, UCLA
Daenan Gyimah, Jr., MB, UCLA
David Wieczorek, Sr., OH, Pepperdine
Corey Chavers, Sr., OH, UC Santa Barbara
Gabi Garcia Fernandez, Soph., Opp., BYU
Patrick Gasman, Jr., MB, Hawai’i
Jack Wyett, Sr., OH, USC
Ryan Moss, Sr., OH, USC
Tyler Mitchem, Soph., MB, Lewis
George Huhmann, Jr., Opp., Princeton
Angelos Mandilaris, Jr., Opp., Barton
Joel Schneidemiller, Soph., OH, UC Irvine
Jaylen Jasper, Soph., Opp., Stanford
Dimitar Kalchev, Sr., OH, CSUN
Pelegrin Vargas, Jr. OH, Purdue Fort Wayne
Michael Wexter, Sr., OH, Pepperdine
Hayden Wagner, Jr., Opp., George Mason
Nick Amado, Long Beach State; Karl Apfelbach, UC Irvine; Hayden Boehle, UCSB; Ryan Coenen, Lewis; Colton Cowell, Hawai’i; Matt Ctvrtlik, Harvard; Kyle Dagostino, Stanford; Felipe de Brito Ferreira, BYU; Kaleb Denmark, Pepperdine; Wyatt Dimke, McKendree; Parker Dixon, Princeton; Jordan Ewert, Stanford; Davide Gardini, BYU, Gianluca Grasso, USC; Jake Hanes, Ohio State; Wyatt Harrison, UC San Diego; Jordan Hoppe, Concordia; Christian Janke, Grand Canyon; Sean Kohlhase, King; Collin Mahan, Loyola; Vasilis Mandelaris, Barton; Dylan Missry, UCLA; Cole Pender, UCLA; Scott Stadick, UC Irvine; Matt Szews, Ball State; Will Tischler, Loyola; Omari Wheeler, Quincy; Ryan Wilcox, UC Santa Barbara; Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis; Garrett Zolg, Loyola.
Our voting panel included Loyola coach Mark Hulse, UC Santa Barbara coach Rick McLaughlin, media member Rob Espero, MotorMVB CEO Wade Garrard, VolleyballMag.com Co-Publishers Lee Feinswog and Ed Chan.