(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – Freshman Ben Patch was named this week’s player of the week by both the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for the second week in a row.
The 6-foot-8 outside hitter is the first player ever to win consecutive Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors.
The Provo-native repeats the honor after recording a 2013 MPSF-high and BYU rally-scoring record 35 kills in the Cougars’ 3-2 win over No. 1 UC Irvine on the road. After trailing 0-2, Patch helped rally the Cougars with a hand on the last six Cougar points (five kills, one block) of the third set to fuel the comeback. He tacked on 13 digs, eight blocks and two aces for the week.
No other MPSF player since January 21, 2012 (Carson Clark, UCI) has recorded as many kills (35) or points (37.5) in a single-match.
This is the second MPSF Player of the Week award for Patch and for BYU this season. This is the 22nd time in program history a BYU player has garnered Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors and the second straight for Patch. Taylor Sander was previously honored this year on Jan. 22.
BYU returns to the No. 1 position in the AVCA poll this week. The Cougars received 14 of the 16 first-place votes while UC Irvine and Long Beach State received the remaining two. BYU previously held the top-spot for four weeks between Jan. 21 – Feb. 11.
The Cougars return home as they host No. 12 Cal Baptist Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse.