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Metzger named top American college coach

Stein Metzger (left) coaching the Canadian McNamara twins during an UCLA dual this season.
Lexington, Ky., USA, May 22, 2017 - Beach Volleyball Olympian and a two-time gold medal winner on FIVB World Tour Stein Metzger has been named the AVCA Beach National Coach of the Year.

Announced here Monday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), the coach of the year was voted on by AVCA member head coaches within NCAA Division I collegiate beach volleyball.  The award started in 2013 with Pepperdine Head Coach Nina Matthies taking home the inaugural then-called “sand” honor.
In his fifth season as the head coach of Beach Volleyball at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Metzger's Bruins recorded the school's best record by winning 30 duals with only six setbacks.  Included among the victories was an April 28 win over cross-town rival USC, which had won 62-straight dual matches.

Last week, the AVCA announced its All-American team where five foreign players from three countries (Canada, Germany and Slovenia) were named to the 16-women team.  Seven different schools are represented in this year’s class.

National champions Southern California had five players earning All-American honors led by Sarah Hughes, who become the first player in AVCA history to garner four awards in collegiate beach. Her partner, Kelly Claes, joins Florida State’s Jace Pardon (2016, 2013-2014) as the only players to be named AVCA All-American on exactly three occasions.

Playing in their first FIVB World Tour event since finishing their college career, Claes and Hughes placed fifth at the recently-completed Rio Open where the USC pair won three of five matches.  Both setbacks were to the two teams at reached the finals - 
Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa of Brazil and Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada.

In advancing to the quarter-finals, Claes and Hughes eliminated pairs from Poland, Italy and Brazil.  In the finals, Agatha and Duda defeated the Canadians in three sets.  Agatha captured the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Barbara Seixas while Pavan, a much-decorated indoor player at the University of Nebraska, placed fifth at the Copacabana Summer Games with Heather Bansley

The AVCA Beach Volleyball All-America Committee featured chairperson Beth Van Fleet (Georgia State), Kristen Rohr (Grand Canyon), Wayne Holly (Tulane), Capri Grotowski (FAU), Jeff Hall (Hawai’i), Anna Collier (Southern California).  Here is the AVCA's All-American Beach Volleyball team.

• Leigh Andrew, Florida State (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
• Nele Barber, Long Beach State (Berlin, Germany)
• Sophie Bukovec, Southern California (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
• Kelly Claes, Southern California (Fullerton, Calif.)
• Sara Hughes, Southern California (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
• Delaney Knudsen, Pepperdine (Valencia, Calif.)
• Tjasa Kotnik, Grand Canyon (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
• Brooke Kuhlman, Florida State (Naples, Fla.)
• Morgan Martin, Hawai'i (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
• Megan McNamara, UCLA (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
• Nicole McNamara, UCLA (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
• Rachel Nieto, Long Beach State (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
• Madalyn Roh, Pepperdine (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
• Mikayla Tucker, Hawai'i (Placerville, Calif.)
• Molly Turner, Grand Canyon (Naperville, Ill.)
• Allie Wheeler, Southern California (Saratoga, Calif.)

Sara Hughes (left) and Kelly Claes at the Rio Open

About AVCAThe AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to advance the sport of volleyball with AVCA coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy and professional development. With a membership of over 7,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.

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