1996 Men's National Players of the Year
Yuval Katz and Stein Metzger Share 1996 AVCA Men's National Player of the Year Honors
Colorado Springs, Colo. - The 1996 AVCA Co-National Players of the Year for NCAA men's volleyball are Yuval Katz of the University of Hawai`i and Stein Metzger of UCLA.
Metzger leads a young UCLA squad (only two starters returned from the 1995 NCAA championship squad) into its fourth-consecutive NCAA semifinals appearance. The senior setter finished the season ranked ninth in the country in assists with a 15.93 average and ran the Bruin offense that hit .338 in the regular season. He led the team to its fourth-consecutive MPSF Conference Tournament title with a five-game victory over UC Santa Barbara. He became the Bruins' all-time career assists leader on April 12 against Long Beach State. He currently has 5,023 career assists, which would rank him seventh all-time in men's collegiate volleyball, according to the AVCA Records Book. A native of Honolulu, Hawai'i, Metzger is the third consecutive AVCA Player of the Year from UCLA. Jeff Nygaard garnered the honor in 1994 and 1995.
Katz is the first student-athlete from a non-California school to receive the honor. The sophomore opposite hitter leads the country in kills per game with a 7.7 average and also ranks in the top 10 in service aces, registering 47 for a .59 aces-per-game average. Katz led Hawai'i to its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 15 Poll, which the Rainbows held for 13 consecutive weeks. A native of Kibbutz EinHamifraz, Israel, Katz has set numerous Hawai'i records in his two seasons including: most kills in a match (45), most service aces in a match (6), all-time career kill average (7.7), all-time career service aces (96) and most kill attempts in a match (91). The 'Bows set a single-season collegiate volleyball attendance record with 154,811 for an average of 7,740, breaking the previous record set by the Hawai'i women's team in 1995 (145,006). Before coming to Hawai'i, Katz spent two years as a member of the Israeli National team.