Seif Tabbed as All-MPSF First Teamer, Four Other Gauchos Collect All-Conference Honors

Jonah Seif (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Jonah Seif (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Sophomore setter Jonah Seif was named to the All-MPSF First Team while four other Gauchos earned All-Conference recognition as well, the league announced on Thursday afternoon. UC Santa Barbara's five All-Conference honorees are the most in program history.

Seif was joined amongst the conference's top-24 players by senior opposite Evan Licht, who was named to the Second Team. 

Senior libero Chad Kingi, senior outside hitter Matt Hanley, and junior middle blocker Jake Staahl all earned Honorable Mentions.

It was the first career MPSF honor for all besides Seif, who garnered All-Freshman and All-MPSF Honorable Mention honors last season.

Seif becomes the first UCSB setter to pick up All-Conference First Team honors since Todd Rogers in 1996. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native now joins an illustrious group of past MPSF First Team Gauchos including Jeff Menzel, Evan Patak, Theo Brunner, Dylan Davis, and Donny Harris.

In his second year as the catalyst of the UCSB offense, Seif recorded another 1,000 assist season (he enters Saturday's MPSF Quarterfinal with 1,039 on the year) while rounding out the other areas of his game, ranking at or near the top among MPSF setters in kills (54), aces (29), digs (169), and blocks (93). His 10.6 assist per set average was good for fifth-best in the conference.

Though consistenly good, Seif had a pair of performances for the ages in the 2014 season. On Feb. 6 at USC, the 6-8 setter had 48 assists, 12 digs, and 10 blocks for his second career triple-double. Then on Apr. 3 at Long Beach State, he had a career-high 61 assists, the most by a Gaucho since 2011.

With 292 kills on the season, Licht is leading the Gauchos in offense for the second consecutive year. Always a potent server, Licht has taken his jump serve to the next level this season, ranking third in the conference with 40 aces. He enters the postseason with 90 career aces to his name, ranking him fourth in program history.

Hanley, a UCLA transfer, made an immediate impact on the left flank for UCSB, pacing the team with 3.01 kills per set and providing a consistent outlet for Seif on the outside. Hanley led the team in kills in six matches and had three of squad's four 20+ kill matches.

Staahl had some big shoes to fill after All-American middle blocker Dylan Davis graduated last season, but the Studio City, Calif. native performed more than admirably as the team's first option blocker, ranking fourth in the conference in blocks (1.12 per game) and hitting percentage (.417). He was one of only two MPSF players to rank among the top-seven in both those categories.

A three-year starter, Kingi is in the midst of his third consecutive 200-dig season, having compiled 220 to this point. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native currently ranks fourth in the UCSB annals with 707 career scoops. His 24 digs at Long Beach State earlier this season were the most by a UCSB player since 2004, the second-most by a UCSB player in the rally-scoring era and fifth-most all-time, and the most by any MPSF player since the 2009 season.

Elsewhere, BYU's Taylor Sander was named the MPSF Player of the Year for the second straight campaign after becoming the Cougars' rally-scoring career kills leader this season. USC's Lucas Yoder was named Freshman of the Year after averaging over four kills a set in his first year with the Trojans.

UCSB's five All-Conference honorees and the rest of the Gauchos will host No. 9 UCLA this Saturday night, Apr. 19, in the program's first home playoff match since the 2007 season. Tickets for that match are available here.

For the entire MPSF All-Conference Team, click here.