Yamil and Ivan Perez each picked up national season awards. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
LEXINGTON -- Yosleyder Cala, Ivan Perez, Russell Holmes and Yamil Perez have all received postseason honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
Cala and Ivan Perez were named to the All-America First Team while Holmes was named to the second team for the second consecutive year. Yamil Perez was named National Newcomer of the Year. The honor is Cala's first All-America citation. It is the second time Ivan Perez (2005, second team) and Holmes (2006, second team).
Cala, a 6-8 sophomore outside hitter for BYU, ranked eighth in the MPSF and first on his team with 4.15 kills per game and 4.74 points per game during the regular season. The two-time Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week (March 5 and April 23) recorded the Cougars' two best single-match hitting percentages of the season: .780 against UCLA (January 12) and .905 against Southern California (March 3). Cala was also a 2007 All-MPSF First-Team selection.
Ivan Perez, a 6-4 junior outside hitter for BYU, was the Cougars best all-around contributor on both offense and defense. The 2007 All-MPSF Second-Team selection led outside hitters on the team with 81 total blocks and .91 blocks per game in the regular season. Perez also led the entire team with 22 aces and was second on the team with 4.25 points per game and 1.45 digs per game.
Holmes, a 6-8 junior middle blocker for BYU, ranked fifth in the nation with 1.45 blocks per game and 14th in the nation with a .438 hitting percentage at the end of the regular season. The 2007 All-MPSF Second-Team selection and BYU captain hit .600 or better in nine of the Cougars 27 matches this season, including two matches above .750. Holmes, who was named Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week on January 29, led the nation and broke a school record for solo blocks in a season with 28.
Yamil Perez, a 6-1 freshman setter for BYU, led the nation with 13.46 assists per game at the end of the regular season, while setting the Cougars to a .343 hitting percentage during the regular season, which was sixth best in the nation. He was also third on the team with 1.52 digs per game and tied for third with 21 aces. Perez, who set the Cougars to a .300 hitting percentage or higher in 22 of 27 matches during the regular season, also was named 2007 MPSF Newcomer of the Year and All-MPSF Honorable Mention.
UC Irvine led the way with four players honored as AVCA Division I-II All-America, placing one on the first team and three on the second team. Three BYU players received the honor, two on the first team and one on the second team. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine each landed two players on the All-America teams. Ball State, IPFW, Loyola-Chicago, Ohio State, Pacific, Penn State and Saint Francis (Pa.) each had one honoree. The Saint Francis honor is the team's first in the 17-year history of the AVCA Men's All-America awards.
Evan Patak of UC Santa Barbara is the only player making his second stint on the AVCA Division I-II First Team All-America, as he landed first team honors in 2005 as well. Patak and Jonathan Winder of Pepperdine are each making their third appearance on an AVCA Division I-II All-America team. Winder was a second team honoree in 2005 and 2006, while Patak earned second team honors in 2004 to go along with his two first team selections.
The 2007 selections were made by the AVCA Men's Volleyball All-America Committee: chairperson Sean Byron (Rutgers-Newark); Jeff Campbell (Cal State Northridge); Fred Chao (George Mason); Shane Davis (Loyola-Chicago); Pete Hanson (Ohio State); Mark Pavlik (Penn State); John Speraw (UC Irvine); Joel Walton (Ball State) and Joe Wortmann (Pacific).