USA Volleyball Selects Athletes and Coaches of the Year

Jan. 28, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 28, 2008) – USA Volleyball announced today its choices for Athletes of the Year, Team of the Year and Coaches of the Year as part of the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) annual awards program.

Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) were selected as the USAV Female and Male Indoor Athletes of the Year. Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) were chosen as USAV Female and Male Beach Athletes of the Year. May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.) earned the USAV Beach Team of the Year distinction. Lora Webster (Cave Creek, Ariz.) was tabbed as the USAV Sitting Volleyball Player of the Year.

John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) was the USAV nominee for USOC National Coach of the Year. Criteria for the USOC National Coach of the Year requires an individual to coach an elite level club, collegiate, Pan Am, World Championship or Olympic Games team, or be the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of the sport discipline.

Scott Mebruer (St. Louis, Mo.) was selected as USAV’s nominee for USOC Developmental Coach of the Year. Criteria for the USOC Developmental Coach of the Year requires the nominee to coach a youth club, high school or junior-level team, or is directly responsible for coaching athletes who compete at the junior and/or elite level.

“It is with great honor that USA Volleyball recognizes these individuals for their successes in 2007 and overall contributions to our sport,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal said. “As recommended for nomination by their respective coaches and based on competition results, each athlete is recognized internationally as among the best in their discipline. Likewise, USA Volleyball could not have had the success in 2007 without coaches like John Speraw and Scott Mebruer at the national and developmental levels.”

Women’s Indoor Player of the Year
Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.)
Haneef-Park, who played opposite and outside hitter at various times during the season, finished 2007 as the U.S. leading scorer with 368 points as part of a 3.61 scoring average per set. She played in 102 sets and compiled averages of 3.25 kills, 0.25 blocks and 0.22 aces per set. Haneef-Park hit .385 for the season with a team-leading 331 kills on 621 attacks. She earned a bronze medal while starting at outside hitter during the Pan American Games, played opposite during the FIVB World Grand Prix, helped Team USA to a silver at the NORCECA Continental Championship as an outside hitter and finished the year with a bronze medal as the U.S. opposite during the FIVB World Cup.

Haneef-Park started 38 of 41 possible sets at the FIVB World Cup in which Team USA qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games. She provided averages of 3.76 points, 3.32 kills and 0.26 blocks per set during the World Cup. Haneef-Park ranked 10th among all players in Best Scorer category and third in Best Spiker with a 48.65 kill efficiency. She led the U.S. in scoring in six of 11 World Cup matches and reached double-figure scoring in all 10 matches played (did not play final match versus Italy). Haneef-Park sparked Team USA’s comeback versus Brazil on Nov. 7 with 26 points via 24 kills on 47 swings, one block and an ace. She added 18 points versus Cuba on Nov. 3 with 18 kills on 33 swings.

Men’s Indoor Player of the Year
Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.)
Middle blocker Ryan Millar played in 127 sets for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2007 as it finished with a record of 33-8 and won a gold medal at the Americas’ Cup, bronze in the FIVB World League and finished fourth at the FIVB World Cup. Millar played more sets in 2007 than any other player besides libero Rich Lambourne.

Millar, 30, led the U.S. Men in blocks in 2007 with 84, averaging 0.66 blocks per set. He was the second-leading scorer on the U.S. Men’s Team with 350 points. He averaged 2.75 points per set. Millar was second among all blockers at the end of World League pool play with 36 blocks on 89 attempts and an average of 0.80 blocks per set. He was second among all blockers in the World Cup with a total of 27 blocks in 40 sets for an average of 0.675 blocks per set.

Millar, who played collegiately at BYU, was the United States’ third-leading scorer, and 19th overall, at the NORCECA Continental Championship in September. He finished the tournament with 45 points on 36 kills, eight blocks and one ace over five matches. Millar is in his ninth season with the U.S. Men’s Team.

Women’s Beach Player of the Year
Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
After a dominating season with partner Kerri Walsh, May-Treanor was named FIVB Best Defensive Player, Best Offensive Player and Sportsperson of the Year for 2007. Domestically, she was named AVP Most Valuable Player, Best Defensive Player and Best Offensive Player.

In May, May-Treanor, 30, broke the record for most titles by a woman in professional beach volleyball with her 73rd tournament victory. In August in Boston, she became the all-time earnings leader. May-Treanor played college volleyball at Long Beach State and has played beach volleyball professionally since 1999.

Men’s Beach Player of the Year
Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
After a season in which he and partner Phil Dalhausser dominated the AVP Crocs Tour and won their first SWATCH-FIVB World Championship, Rogers was named both the FIVB and AVP best defensive player. He finished second in FIVB voting for best setter. The duo earned a silver and bronze in six FIVB beach tournaments in 2007. The pair was named the AVP Team of the Year and won the 2007 AVP Crocs Cup Championship. They won 10 AVP Crocs Tour events in 2007 with two second-place and four third-place finishes in 17 tournaments.

Rogers, 34, played collegiately for UC Santa Barbara and has also worked as an assistant coach with the men’s indoor team at the school. He made his professionally beach volleyball debut in 1995.

Beach Team of the Year Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.)
May-Treanor, 30, and Walsh, 29, continued to be one of the most dominant women’s beach volleyball teams in the world in 2007. The pair won its third-straight FIVB-SWATCH World Championship in July without losing a set in eight matches. May-Treanor/Walsh won seven out of eight SWATCH-FIVB tournaments in 2007, finishing third in the other en route to sharing the FIVB’s Offensive Player of the Year. May-Treanor finished first and Walsh second for the FIVB’s Sportsperson of the Year award.

The beach partners were named AVP Team of the Year and won the Crocs Cup Championship. They compiled a 2007 match record of 123-4 and a set record of 252-25. The tandem won 13 out of 15 AVP Crocs tournaments, finishing second and third in two others.

Walsh played collegiate volleyball at Stanford. The two teamed up following the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where Walsh played with the women’s U.S. indoor team and finished fourth and May-Treanor played beach volleyball with Holly McPeak and finished fifth. The team is the defending Olympic gold medalist.

Sitting Volleyball Player of the Year
Lora Webster (Cave Creek, Ariz.)
Webster served as the team captain for the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team and played in all 2007 matches including the five June matches against the Netherlands, four matches at the Shanghai Invitational with wins over Australia, Japan and Malaysia and the first-set win over China in December. These were all significant events for the team, which has qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Games.

Webster, 21, led the team in attacking with a 0.414 efficiency percentage and a kill percentage of 0.517. She finished the season with 14 aces. Webster was second on the team in blocking with 10 solos, 15 assisted and five blocked serves. Webster was second to the libero with 47 digs and her serve-receive led the team. Webster, who had her left leg amputated after being diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 11, was one of the main reasons the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team captured the bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

USAV Nomination for USOC National Coach of the Year
John Speraw
Speraw split duties in 2007 succeeding both as head men’s volleyball coach of University of California at Irvine and as an assistant men’s volleyball coach with the U.S. Men’s National Team. He led UCI to its first-ever NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship in May. In the process, Speraw became just the second person to ever win a NCAA men’s volleyball championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Three players from the 2007 Anteater team competed on the 2007 U.S. World University Games team that won the bronze medal.

Speraw was added as an assistant coach to Team USA in January 2007, and he made an impact on the team’s overall performance. The U.S. captured the bronze medal at the FIVB World League, silver medal at the Pan American Games, gold medal at the America’s Cup, gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championship and a fourth-place finish at the FIVB World Cup. Team USA compiled a 33-8 record in 2007, a 15-match improvement over its 2006 record of 18-14.

USAV Nomination for USOC Developmental Coach of the Year
Scott Mebruer
Mebruer coached St. Louis High Performance to a history-making 18 Open title at the 2007 USA Junior Olympic Boys’ Volleyball Championship. St. Louis High Performance became the first non-West Coast or Hawai’i team to capture the 18 Open title at the event. He also serves as club director for St. Louis HP.

During 2007, St. Louis HP 18s compiled an 83-3 record. During the USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Championship, the team won all 11 of its matches and dropped just two sets. Mebruer, who also coached the St. Louis HP 12s team, coached seven athletes from the 18s team that went on to play collegiate volleyball in the 2007-2008 season. He mentored Troy Murphy, who went on to be the team-leading scorer for Team USA at the FIVB Boys’ Youth World Championship in August 2007.

Mebruer earned the 2006 USA Volleyball Gateway Region Meritorious Service Award presented to individuals who have contributed greatly to the sport of volleyball at the regional level.