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Umlauft named All-America again

The Warriors sophomore is joined by 4 Hawaii products on the AVCA first team

By Cindy Luis

LAST UPDATED: 2:31 a.m. HST, Apr 29, 2011

With a national-best 5.57 kill average and a .344 hitting percentage, Jonas Umlauft had few problems trying to get around an opponent's block.

But there is one obstacle the sophomore opposite for the Hawaii men's volleyball team is having a problem with, and that's the air fare for next week's All-America banquet at State College, Pa.

"We're trying to get him there, but it's like $2,000," Warriors coach Charlie Wade said. "We really want him there, but it's not an easy place to get to and it's not cheap."

Umlauft has more than proven his worth. The 2010 AVCA Newcomer of the Year repeated as a first-team All-America selection yesterday. He was the only Warrior named and "it was no surprise," Wade said. "He led the planet in scoring.

"We certainly would have liked to have Josh (senior hitter Joshua Walker) recognized. And Nejc (senior setter Zemljak) was very important to us. But there were so many good players in our league and around the country."

Hawaii prep products were well-represented on the 10-member first team. Reigning AVCA Player of the Year Brad Lawson (‘Iolani), a senior hitter for Stanford, and teammate Erik Shoji (Punahou) joined USC senior setter Riley McKibbin (Punahou) and Brigham Young junior middle Futi Tavana (Kauai) on the first team.

It was Shoji's third first-team honor and Lawson's second.

Umlauft led the country in kills for the second straight season. Earlier this year, he became the 13th player in UH program history to record 1,000 career kills and only the third player to reach that milestone in just his second season.

Umlauft tallied double-figure kill totals in all 27 matches he appeared in, including 14 with 20 or more kills.

While Hawaii's season ended last week against UC Irvine in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation quarterfinal, the MPSF tournament continued with last night's semifinals.

USC tops UC Irvine

Top-ranked host USC (23-2) advanced to tomorrow's MPSF championship with a 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23 win over UC Irvine (19-12).

The Trojans got 23 kills from Tony Ciarelli and 55 assists and two aces from McKibbin.

AOP graduate Tri Bourne added 10 kills and Punahou product Henry Cassiday had 19 digs for USC, which will take on UC Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos (16-14) eliminated Long Beach State (15-14), 25-17, 26-28, 25-20, 25-23.

Tomorrow's title match is at 4 p.m. Hawaii time. The winner earns the MPSF's automatic berth into next week's final four at Penn State.

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