By Cindy Luis
Penn State’s Matt Anderson and Long Beach State’s Paul Lotman Share AVCA Men’s Division I-II National Player of the Year Honors
Lexington, Ky. (April 30, 2008) – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce that Penn State University junior outside hitter Matt Anderson and Long Beach State University senior outside hitter Paul Lotman have been named 2008 AVCA Men’s Division I-II Co-National Players of the Year. This marks only the second time that there has been AVCA Co-National Players of the Year in men’s volleyball.
The presentation was made at the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship Banquet on the campus of the University of California,Irvine. The banquet was held in conjunction with the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship, to be played May 1 and 3 in BrenEvents Center at UC Irvine.
Anderson, a native of West Seneca, N.Y., has been instrumental in leading Penn State to a 28-1 overall record, a No. 1 national ranking, Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Regular Season and Tournament Championships, and a berth in the semifinals of the NCAA Men’s National Championship as the top seed. In the EIVA championship match, Anderson nailed 15 kills and added five blocks in a sweep of George Mason, en route to earning Championship MVP honors.
In addition to being named AVCA Men’s Division I-II Co-National Player of the Year, Anderson is now a two-time AVCA All-American, having earned First-Team laurels in 2008 as well as Second-Team honors in 2007. He also earned the distinction of being named the EIVA Regular Season Player of the Year, is a three time All-EIVA nominee and was selected the Sports Imports/AVCA Men’s Division I-II National Player of the Week for his efforts during the week of February 11.
Anderson has been consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories in 2008. His 5.64 kills per game average place him in the No. 2 spot nationally, and his 6.47 points per game also tie him for second on the national statistics report. The talented product for the Nittany Lions has also turned in an impressive .390 season hitting percentage, in addition to racking up 1.34 digs per game.
The 6’10” phenom on the outside managed to produce double-digit kills in 28 of 29 of PSU’s contests during the season, including eight matches where he totaled 20-plus kills. He becomes the first men’s volleyball athlete in Penn State athletics history to be named AVCA National Player of the Year.
Lotman, who hails from Lakewood, Calif., helped Long Beach State ascend to as high as a No. 2 national ranking during the season and a spot in this week’s NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship semifinals with a 23-6 overall record. He also lead the 49ers to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Regular Season Championship with an 18-4 mark in the highly-competitive conference. In the MPSF tournament semifinal match, Lotman was just one of two LBSU athletes to finish the game with double-digit kills, as he recorded 13, to go along with four digs in the eventual upset loss to Pepperdine.
On top of being named AVCA Men’s Division I-II Co-National Player of the Year, Lotman has earned numerous other awards, including being recognized as the 2008 MPSF Player of the Year, while he has also been a two-time All-MPSF selection. In addition, Lotman earned Sports Imports/AVCA Men’s Division I-II National Player of the Week laurels, the second such award of his career, for his outstanding play during the week of January 22. He becomes only the third men’s athlete ever to earn National Player of the Year distinction in just their first year as an AVCA All-American.
Statistically, Lotman stood among the nation’s best in several categories during the season. He was tops nationally with 60 service aces, was tied for second in points per game with 6.47, and his 5.46 kills per game earned him the No. 3 spot in that category. Additionally, Lotman averaged 1.34 digs and just under one block per game, making him an all-around threat to opponents.
Lotman was able to tally double-digit kill performances in 22 matches this season, while, even more impressively, 14 of those contests saw the weapon on the outside smash over 20 kills, including one outing against Hawai’i where he went over the 30-kill plateau. Lotman becomes just the second men’s volleyball athlete in Long Beach State history to earn AVCA Men’s Division I-II National Player of the Year accolades.
2007: Jonathan Winder (Pepperdine)
2006: Jayson Jablonsky (UC Irvine)
2005: Sean Rooney (Pepperdine)
2004: Carlos Moreno (BYU)
2003: Costas Theocharidis (Hawai’i)
2002: Brad Keenan (Pepperdine)
2001: Costas Theocharidis (Hawai’i)
2000: Donald Suxho (USC)
1999: George Roumain (Pepperdine)
1998: George Roumain (Pepperdine)
1997: Ivan Contreras (Penn State)
1996: Yuval Katz (Hawai’i), Stein Metzger (UCLA)
1995: Jeff Nygaard (UCLA)
1994: Jeff Nygaard (UCLA)
1993: Canyon Ceman (Stanford)
1992: Brent Hilliard (Long Beach State)
1991: Bryan Ivie (USC)