Pacific Men's Volleyball To Kick Off 2012 Against Grand Canyon University
The Pacific Men's Volleyball team prepares to being its 2012 campaign Saturday and Sunday, January 7 and 8 against Grand Canyon University. The Tigers will take on the Division II opponent in the Alex G. Spanos Center with both matches beginning at 1 p.m.
The 2012 Tigers:
Pacific returns a number of assets to what is expected to be an exciting year. The Tigers are led by outside hitter Taylor Hughes and libero Javier Caceres who were selected as All-MPSF Honorable Mention in 2011. Hughes led Pacific with 465 points including a team-high 396 kills with 13 aces. On defense the redshirt junior collected 100 blocks and 153 digs. Sophomore Caceres recorded 29 assists in 105 sets, and led all Tigers with 278 digs in 2011.
Other Tiger standouts include junior setter Patrick Tunnell, outside hitter Florian Gornik and redshirt senior Sean Daley. Tunnel recorded a team-high 998 assists in his 28 starts. The Tuscan, Ariz. native finished the season with a .441 setting percentage. Gornik from Schwechat, Austria was a force on both sides of the pins finishing 2011 with 303 kills and a team-leading 21 aces. He also turned away 63 attacks for the Tiger defense. Daley recorded 155 kills while hitting a team-best .371 for the Tigers. On the other side of the net he led the team with 116 blocks including 17 block solos.
Pacific brought in an outstanding recruiting class that will look to solidify an already strong team that finished 15th in nation last season. The Tigers will look for early impacts from freshmen Shane deRooy and Tommy Carmody. deRooy is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In high school he received numerous accolades including being named to the All-Manitoba team and awarded the Dale Iwanoczko Scholarship. Carmody is a 6-9 middle blocker from Orland Park, Ill. He was the leading force in his high schools' 2011 Illinois State Championship victory.
Scouting Grand Canyon:
The Tigers have only taken on the Antelopes twice; the matches took place in 2010 resulting in 3-0 victories for Pacific. Grand Canyon is led by senior Taylor Galliano who finished 2011 with 231 kills while hitting .317 for the season. On the other side of the pins, Pacific will look to beat Jordon Tarantino. The junior recorded 89 blocks for the 'Lopes in 2011.
Pacific will take on UC Santa Cruz in Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium at 5 p.m. on Saturday following the first match against Grand Canyon. Then the Tigers head to the court for Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Stanford at 7 p.m. on January 11 in the Alex G. Spanos Center.