B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 14, 2011) – Clay Stanley (Honolulu) has been named the USA Volleyball Indoor Male Athlete of the Year.
Stanley helped the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 26-15 record this season, including a silver medal at the NORCECA Continental Championship and a spot in the Final Round of the FIVB World League. The 33-year-old opposite took over as the U.S. Men’s team captain after Reid Priddy (Richmond Va.) suffered a serious injury to his face prior to the NORCECA Championship.
“I am proud to be named USA Volleyball’s Indoor Male Athlete of the Year for 2011,” Stanley said. “But my teammates and I know that next year will be even more important as we work to qualify for and compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”
Stanley (6-foot-9, 230 pounds) had his best tournament of the season at the FIVB World Cup, where the U.S. Men finished sixth. Even though he missed the last three matches, Stanley led the team in aces (18/.69 per set) and blocks (22/.85 per set). He was second on the team in attacks (85/48.6 kill percentage/.429 hitting efficiency), digs (43/1.65 per set) and total points (125/4.81 per set).
He was just a few percentage points from winning the Best Server title.
“It’s the best I’ve seen him play. I’ve played with him 11 years now. Hands down it’s the best I’ve seen him play,” Priddy said on The NET Live. “He was doing everything. He was serving well, playing defense, stuffing seven balls a match and showing tremendous range. He was exploding to the ball and hitting with a ton of range.
“He’s wearing the captain’s bar now…. I’m really seeing a concerted effort from him to step up in that role. He’s very vocal and a great leader for all of us. It’s great to see that.”
Stanley finished the season second on the team in scoring with 373 points (3.85 points per set), kills with 265 (2.73 kills per set/42.4 kill percentage/.344 hitting efficiency), blocks with 55 (.57 blocks per set) and digs with 138 (1.42 digs per set). He led the team in aces with 53 (.55 per set).
At the 2011 FIVB World League, Clay was one of three players to compete in all 58 sets for the U.S. He was the team’s second-leading scorer with 208 points on 152 kills (39.2 kill percent), 28 blocks and 28 aces. He finished pool play first among all servers with 25 aces.
Stanley suffered an ankle injury in the first set of the first match of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship, but came back to help the United States defeat Cuba in pool play and started against Puerto Rico in the semifinals and Cuba in the final. He ended up scoring 40 points in 13 sets played on 28 successful attacks (44.4 kill percent), five blocks and seven aces.
Stanley is the second Hawaii resident to win the award this year after Lindsey Berg was named the Women’s Indoor Player of the Year on Tuesday.
Stanley is playing for Ural Ufa in the Russian Super League this winter. The U.S. Men’s Team will be back in action in April to prepare for the NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualifier, which will be in May in Puerto Rico.