May 28, 2008
UCLA senior libero Tony Ker was named the Defensive Player of the Year by Volleyball, the magazine announced this week.
For Ker, 22, the recognition marked the third consecutive year he has received the award. A four-time All-American and All-MPSF selection, Ker completed his playing career as the national leader in career digs with 1,220. He also set UCLA records in 2008 for digs in a season (368) and digs in a match (27). His 2008 digs average was 3.23 digs per game, another school record.
"Tony Ker has led our team through some great digging years," said Head Coach Al Scates. "His ability to assume a large portion of the passing area gave us many offensive options. It wouldn't surprise me if he became the libero for the U.S. National Team after 2008."
Ker earned 1st Team AVCA All-America honors earlier this month, marking the second time he has been named to the association's first team.
In addition, he earned 3rd Team All-MPSF honors, but received more votes than any other conference libero. Sophomore Garrett Muagututia earned 2nd Team All-MPSF honors and juniors D.J. Stromath, Sean O'Malley and Jamie Diefenbach each were selected to the All-MPSF Honorable Mention team.
In other news, three Bruins, including Ker and Diefenbach, were named to the 2008 MPSF All-Academic Team, the conference announced on Tuesday.
Ker, Diefenbach and junior Ryan Ratelle were chosen to this year's squad, which included 41 players from around the conference.
To qualify, players must own a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, among other requirements.
Through the Winter Quarter, Ratelle had a 3.37 gpa in Business/Economics. Difenbach had a 3.15 gpa and Ker had a 3.07 gpa; both are majoring in Sociology.
Finally, 14 UCLA volleyball players earned spots on the Director's Honor Roll for the Winter Quarter. Highlighting that list was Diefenbach, who boasted a 4.0 gpa for the quarter.
"We're very proud of our student-athletes," said Scates. "These are volleyball players competing with students who have an average incoming grade point average of 4.2, so our players have learned to make the most of their time."