CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (MCVL.org) - The Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League announced its four major awards on Wednesday, April 25, as selected by the head coaches of the league. In total, four individuals were selected for Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year.
The 2018 MCVL Offensive Player of the Year is Evan Walsh of Carthage. In 21 matches this season, Walsh totaled 252 kills with a .267 attack percentage. When in league play, Walsh elevated his game, averaging 3.93 kills per set while hitting .314 with 110 total kills. From his right side position, Walsh also assisted on the block, totaling 54 blocks this season, averaging .77 per set. Over the course of the regular season, Walsh was named MCVL Player of the Week two times. Walsh recorded a season-high 17 kills in a five-set win over Loras on March 16 while his best attack percentage came against Marian when Walsh hit .520 with 16 kills.
The 2018 MCVL Defensive Player of the Year is Zach Rothstein of Fontbonne. The libero for the Griffins, Rothstein logged 331 digs this seasn, average 3.64 per set. His season-best performance came on March 3 in a five-set win over Hiram in which he finished with 23 digs. In total, Rothstein posted three matches with 20-or-more digs and 17 matches with 10-plus digs. In league play, Rothstein led all players with 116 digs and a 3.63 per set average.
The 2018 MCVL Rookie of the Year is Kelvin Rivera of Carthage. By season's end, the freshman from Puerto Rico had established himself as a lethal force as part of the Red Men attack. Rivera, who hit .394 this season and .432 in league play, finished eighth in the conference with 2.83 kills per set in MCVL matches and 12th overall with 2.50 kills per set in all matches. Rivera started in each of the final eight matches of the season for Carthage, recording at least 10 kills in seven of those eight outings. In four of the final eight matches, Rivera posted attack percentages above .500, led by a 10-0-14 performance at Greenville in which he hit .714.
The 2018 MCVL Coach of the Year is Kyle Exline of North Central. Exline took the Cardinals, who were picked to finish third in the preseason poll, and turned them into champions as North Central won the first regular season title in program history. In his third season as head coach, the Cardinals returned 17 letterwinners and their entire 2017 starting lineup. North Central earned four All-MCVL selections, including three on the first team including Jake Braceros, Brendan Crawford and Michael Trunzo. The award comes weeks after Exline was selected by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as one of its "30 under 30" award winners.