Five Bruins Earn All-MPSF MVB Honors
Five Bruins earned all-league honors as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) announced its men's volleyball awards, as selected by the league coaches, on Wednesday. Redshirt senior setter Sam Kobrine and sophomore opposite Cole Ketrzynski were each named to the All-MPSF first-team. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Merrick McHenry was voted to the second-team. Redshirt senior outside hitter Austin Matautia was an honorable mention selection. McHenry joined true freshman outside hitter Ethan Champlin on the MPSF All-Freshman team.
Kobrine, who ranks 13th in the NCAA in set assists (9.97) in 2021, has directed the Bruin team to a .321 hitting percentage which is the eighth-best mark in the country. He is the only player in the nation this season to record a triple-double --- 14 kills, 10 digs, 15 set assists against USC (2/13). Kobrine has been credited with at least 40 set assists in 11 matches this season, including a career-best 61 against Stanford (3/23). UCLA also owns the highest attack percentage of any MPSF team in a match this year (.554 vs. Concordia on 3/2). He earned Molten/MPSF Defensive Player of the Week accolades earlier this season after tying his career-high of 10 digs in a pair of wins over Stanford (3/5&6).
Ketrzynski, who has totaled double-digit kills in 12 matches this season, ranks 13th in the nation in points per set (4.60) and put away a career-best 21 kills in a win at USC (2/20). He is also fifth in the nation in service aces average (0.53) and had a career-high six aces at Stanford (3/23). His kills per set mark of 3.76 rates third among MPSF players. Earlier this year, Ketrzynski was named Molten/MPSF Offensive Player of the Week for his outstanding play in a road sweep at USC.
McHenry currently ranks 11th in the nation and third in the MPSF in hitting percentage at .423. He rates 18th nationally and is tied for fourth in the MPSF in blocks per set (1.02). McHenry recorded a career-best 18 kills in a match at Grand Canyon (4/2) and hit a Bruin season-high of .833 against Concordia (3/2) with 10 kills, no errors on 12 attacks.
Matautia, started all 19 matches and posted a season-best 14 kills at Stanford (3/23). He blasted a career-high six aces against Pepperdine (3/11) as the Bruins established an MPSF season high of 13 for the match. Matautia registered at least three aces in four matches overall and ranks seventh in the MPSF with a 0.36 average. He also paced the team in blocks in four contests in 2021 and in digs in three.
Champlin tallied a season-best 18 kills and hit .441 in a win at Stanford (3/23). He led UCLA with 11 kills in an early season win at BYU while adding 15 digs over the two road contests against the Cougars and was rewarded with Molten/MPSF Player of the Week honors. The true freshman recorded five aces in a match against the Cardinal (3/6) and is ranked fifth in the MPSF in service aces average (0.39). Champlin recorded a season-high three block solos versus USC (2/13) and was credited with a season-high nine digs on multiple occasions.
UCLA will be in action on Thursday afternoon as play begins in the MPSF Championship Tournament with a quarterfinal contest against Concordia at 1 p.m. PT. The semifinals will begin on Friday at 3 p.m. PT and the championship match is scheduled for Saturday (6 p.m. PT). All of the matches will be played in Provo, Utah at BYU's Smith Fieldhouse. The seven team bracket for the National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship will be announced on Sunday, April 25.