Long Beach, Calif. - Juniors Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto were selected as first-team All-Americans by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The AVCA picked eight pairs from across the nation as first-team All-Americans.
The pair went 25-11 overall in 2017, leading Long Beach State to its first NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship appearance in 2017. Long Beach State finished the season ranked No. 7 in the country, and the pair played every match in the top flight as the 49ers went 26-10 overall on the season.
The duo won 14 straight matches to start the season, with wins over three other pairs that received All-America honors in that stretch. In all, the duo won matches against other teams that played at No. 1 this season that also earned All-American honors.
Barber also earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from the AVCA during the fall women’s volleyball season, and becomes the first player in the NCAA Championship era to receive first-team All-America honors in Beach Volleyball while earning All-America in the fall. Sarah Sponcil of Loyola Marymount earned Honorable Mention in both sports this season, with the pair being the only two players to earn All-America in both sports since Beach Volleyball earned championship status from the NCAA.
Nieto and Barber are the third and fourth All-Americans from Long Beach State in Beach Volleyball. Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke were two-time honorees, earning selection in the sport’s first two years in 2012 and 2013.
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