Volleyball today: AVP meets with players, Knipe named MPSF COY

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At the AVP on Tuesday, from left, Chase Frishman, Michael Brunsting, Sarah Day, Jennifer Fopma, Stafford Slick, Theo Brunner, Casey Patterson, Ty Loomis/Casey Patterson Facebook photo

The AVP has still not commented to VolleyballMag.com about the ongoing negotiations the professional beach tour is having with its players about its contract. We made a request to hear from CEO Donald Sun last week for this story.

However, Tuesday men’s pro Casey Patterson posted this on his Facebook page:

“Met with Donald and the AVP associates yesterday to gain more knowledge, clarity and future direction of the tour. It was such an enlightening experience with honesty and issues expressed by all. The AVP is focused on the future of the sport at all levels and providing even more opportunities for its players. Our experience was so positive and we can’t wait to compete in Huntington Beach.

The first AVP stop is May 5-7 in Huntington Beach and anyone who qualifies must sign the the tour’s contract.

VBM’s Ed Chan spoke with former men’s pro, now Cal Poly beach head coach, Todd Rogers, about the issue.

Honestly, I think the players are dead wrong on this,” Rogers said. “I mean, I get that they want more, I totally get that. And power to them if they can get it. Right now what we need is a strong domestic tour. College volleyball is looking better than ever, we have better and better talent every year, just look at all this. We need some place for them to go after they’re done.

“And the international scene, you take away Kerri and April, Phil and Nick, and who do we have? The top U.S. teams have to have an age question mark for 2020.”

Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Knipe the MPSF COY: Long Beach State University’s Alan Knipe guided the 2017 49ers to the school’s first MPSF championship in any sport and, accordingly, is the league’s coach of the year.

The Beach, headed to its second straight NCAA tournament, won 27 matches this season, 20 by sweeps and finished 16-0 at home.

This is the second time in his 14-year tenure at Long Beach that Knipe won the award. He was also honored in 2008. He was the AVCA national COY in 2004.

Knipe’s team will enter the NCAA tournament as the national leader in hitting percentage (.371), while allowing opponents to hit just .183, an MPSF-best.

Six of his players made the all-conference team, including player of the year TJ DeFalco.

Division III men’s COY: The AVCA national coach of the year is Daniel Ames of Dominican University. Ames, who started the program at the River Forest, Ill., school, led the Stars to a 26-2 record this season. That included 18-1 in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League and a No. 6 ranking — Dominican’s highest ever — in the last AVCA D-III coaches poll.

Dominican, which drew a bye into the quarterfinals, plays Stevens Institute on Friday in the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship. The Stars won the MCVL Tournament for the first time and have two AVCA first-team All-Americdans in Alex Coyne and Luke Spicer.

The AVCA also has a D-III assistant-coach-of-the-year honor an that went to Karl France of New York University.

The AVCA will announce the D-III player of the year Thursday at the banquet when the eight teams gather the night before the tournament begins.

Pac-12 POW, league beach tourney: The pair of the week is USC seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler.

Bukovec won honor with former partner Alexa Strange on April 18 and Wheeler won with former partner Nicolette Martin as the first pair to win the Pac-12’s weekly award on March 8, 2016.

Meanwhile, the second-annual Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships are Thursday-Sunday at Arizona. The tournament will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

Defending Pac-12 and NCAA-champion USC, which has won 60 matches in a row, is the top seed in the team competition with Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes the top seed in the pairs tournament.

All nine teams are seeded for the upcoming championship. UCLA is the No. 2 seed and is also the second-ranked team in the nation. Eighth-ranked Arizona is the No. 3 seed and all three are expected to get bid to the NCAA beach championship next week in Gulf Shores, Ala.

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