BYU head coach Tom Peterson talks to media at today's NCAA press conference about the impact BYU's All-Americans have made on this year's team. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
HONOLULU -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association today announced four BYU men's volleyball players were named to the All-America teams. Junior Carlos Moreno and senior Fernando Pessoa earned first-team honors, while senior Joe Hillman and sophomore Victor Batista received second-team citations.
Wednesday's announcement marks the second time in BYU history that four players were selected to either the first or second teams. The last time four Cougars earned this All-American recognition was in 2001.
Moreno, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the ninth player in BYU history to earn multiple All-America citations. Last season, Moreno was named second-team All-American with teammate Jonathan Alleman. Moreno is ranked second in the nation in assists per game with 14.09 and has led the Cougars to a 27-4 overall record. He also earned AVCA National Player of the Week on Mar. 15.
Pessoa, an outside hitter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, leads the team with 4.12 kills per game and ranks sixth in the MPSF in kill average. After playing libero for three years and switching to the outside for his senior year, Pessoa ranks second on BYU's squad with 1.60 digs per game and is hitting a .365 percentage. This is his third national honor of the season as he has been twice named AVCA National Player of the Week.
Earning his first national honor, Hillman ranks second on the team in kills with 3.57 per game and has led BYU in kills for nine matches this season. He has also recorded more than 10 kills in 23 matches. Hillman, a native of Las Vegas, recorded 19 kills and hit a .500 average in the MPSF championship match against Long Beach State, which earned him all-tournament honors.
In his first season with the Cougars, Batista has made a significant contribution in the middle blocker position. With two experienced middles out with injuries in the beginning of the season, Batista stepped in to average 2.44 kills per game while hitting a .452 percentage. He also leads the team with 1.28 blocks per game.