USC's Ciarelli and UCSC's Eric Rowell Named Sports Imports/AVCA National Players of the Week
Tony Ciarelli, a 6-6 outside hitter for top-ranked University of Southern California, has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week. Ciarelli led the Trojans to two victories last week, both coming over teams ranked in the top ten of the AVCA Men's Division I-II Coaches Top 15 Poll. Ciarelli began the week with a 14-kill outing in USC's 3-1 win over then-No.10 UCLA, a match in which he also chipped in six digs and three blocks. The 2009 AVCA Men's Division I-II Second-Team All-America selection followed that performance by clubbing 18 kills, scooping up five digs and adding one block and one service ace in the Trojans' 3-2 win over then-No. 3 UC Irvine. For the week, Ciarelli averaged 3.56 kills, 1.22 digs and 4.00 points per game, and hit .284. This marks the first time Ciarelli has earned Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week honors and the ninth time a USC athlete has been recognized. The last Trojan to earn the distinction was Murphy Troy on May 4, 2009. USC is coached by Bill Ferguson.
Eric Rowell, a 6-2 senior setter for then-No. 3 UC Santa Cruz, has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Week for his efforts in leading his squad to a pair of victories last week. Rowell kicked things off by helping UCSC to a sweep of then-No. 2 Springfield, registering 42 assists, six digs, five blocks and two kills in the win. Equally as impressive, Rowell continued play by notching 47 assists, nine digs, four kills and three blocks in a 3-1 victory over California Baptist, the top-ranked team in the NAIA. For the week, Rowell averged 12.70 assists per game and directed the Banana Slugs' offense to a .358 team hitting percentage. This honor marks the fourth time a player from UC Santa Cruz has received the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Week award, and is the first for Rowell. The Banana Slugs are coached by Jonah Carson.