La Rusch named Sports Imports/AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Week
Freshman opposite led the 49ers to a 3-2 upset win over No. 1 UCLA
Feb. 21, 2012
LONG BEACH - Freshman opposite John La Rusch has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Tuesday.
La Rusch led Long Beach State to a 3-2 (25-16, 25-18, 20-25, 25-27, 15-9) upset win over then No. 1 UCLA with a career-high 21 kills. He also finished with a .325 hitting percentage, five digs and two blocks.
La Rusch, who was making just his second start of his young career, was LBSU's go-to hitter all match and he didn't disappoint in the clutch as he had three consecutive kills late in the decisive fifth set to put Long Beach State up, 13-7. He then went on to notch his 21st kill to give the 49ers match point at 14-8.
La Rusch's performance earned him the start three days later against then No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, where he totaled eight kills, three digs and three blocks in two sets played in the four-set victory.
On the weekend, the Long Beach native was tops on the team in kills (29), kills per set (4.14), points (31.5) and points per set (4.50).
This is the 23rd time a Long Beach State men's volleyball player has been named a Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week, and is the first for La Rusch. Josh Riley was the last 49er to garner the award for the week of April 25, 2011.
No. 9 Long Beach State is back in action this weekend when it heads to fourth-ranked UC Irvine (Feb. 24) and UC San Diego (Feb. 25).
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