Men’s Volleyball | February 12, 2024
LOS ANGELES – USC men’s volleyball players swept weekly honors as sophomore outside hitter Dillon Klein (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Loyola HS) was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Offensive Player of the Week and freshman middle blocker Wesley Smith (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) was chosen as the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday, Feb. 12.
The awards are USC’s second and third this season and mark the first time Trojans have swept the pair of weekly awards since March 7, 2022, when Lucas Frassrand won the offensive award and Chris Hall was chosen for defensive honors. USC collected seven MPSF weekly awards that season. Earlier this season, senior MB Kyle Paulson (Long Beach, Calif./Milliken HS) earned his first-career honor as the Defensive Player of the Week on Jan. 22.
Klein—who earns his second-career honor (April 17, 2023)—collected 31 kills and hit .391 to help the Trojans split matches with seventh-ranked UC Irvine this week. He recorded his first-career double-double with 14 kills and a career-high 14 digs in the teams’ first meeting and had four blocks to finish with 16.0 points. In the rematch, Klein led the Trojans with 17 kills on .359 hitting and put up five digs with two blocks to reach 19.0 points. The back-to-back results were Klein’s 28th and 29th matches with double-digit kills.
Smith produced 16 blocks in two matches to average 2.00 blocks per set against the Anteaters. He set and matched his career-high with eight blocks in the two back-to-back meetings. In the second match, Smith had a career-best three solo blocks and added 12 kills (six in each match) while hitting .273 to reach double-digit points for the fifth and sixth times this season.
The 12th-ranked Trojans (8-4) moved up three spots in the AVCA/NVA Coaches Poll following a split week with UC Irvine. This week, USC opens MPSF play with a Wednesday (Feb. 14) match at Concordia (5-1) at CU Arena in Irvine, Calif. The Trojans and Golden Eagles are set for a 7 p.m. PT start and will be shown live on a Team1Sports stream. On Friday, Feb. 16, the Eagles complete the home-and-home series with a visit to Galen Center for a 7 p.m. match set to be shown on the USC Live Stream platform.
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