April 25, 2013
CHICAGO - The awards keep coming as Loyola University Chicago right-side hitter Joe Smalzer (Palos Heights, Ill./Marist) was named American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Second Team All-America this afternoon. It marks the second consecutive season that Smalzer has earned the honor and he becomes just the second player in program history to earn All-America distinction twice, joining James Grunst (2006-07).
"It is a great individual achievement for Joe and it is great that he was able to earn All-America status for the second time," said head coach Shane Davis. "That said, I know Joe has his sights set on this weekend's championship match against Lewis and helping the team achieve one of its goals of making it to the NCAA Championship."
Smalzer has put together a terrific 2013 campaign, leading the Ramblers and the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in kills (399, 3.80 kills per set) while leading the country in service aces (72, 0.69 aces per set) en route to being named the 2013 MIVA Player of the Year. He rifled a career-best 28 kills earlier this season against George Mason and pounded down 16 kills to go with eight digs, five blocks and three aces as the Ramblers dispatched No. 9 Ball State in Wednesday's MIVA semifinal.
With another season of eligibility remaining, Smalzer already holds Loyola's single-season and career service aces records and sits ninth on the Ramblers' career kills chart.
Loyola searches for its first MIVA Tournament title when it takes on Lewis in Saturday's championship match. First serve from Romeoville is set for 7 p.m. The teams split the two regular-season meetings with each winning on the other's home floor.