UCSB’s Formico named AVCA Freshman of Year for West Region


On Tuesday morning, UCSB libero Taylor Formico was named Freshman of the Year for the West Region, the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) announced.

Named Big West Freshman of the Year and All-Conference First Team pick just last week, Formico can now add regional Freshman of the Year and All-Region Honorable Mention to her list of achievements. It is the first time in program history that a Gaucho has been named regional Freshman of the Year.

Find all-region selections from the rest of NCAA Division 1 HERE

“It’s another great honor for Taylor to win this award,” said UCSB head coach Kathy Gregory. “As one of the hardest working and most dedicated players around, she is very deserving. I’m very proud of her, and am happy to see that she is getting the recognition she deserves.”

Formico had a historic season first season under Gregory, writing her name all over the school and conference record books. Formico set a UCSB and Big West Conference record with 792 digs, smashing the previous record of 652 set by Chelsey Lowe in 2011. Her dig total also led all players in the nation, while her average of 5.87 digs per game topped the conference and region, and ranked eighth nationally.

Though she was consistently good, she was prone to bursts of extraordinary play, recording 30 or more digs in a match 12 times, almost twice as many times as any other player in the NCAA. Her 41 digs against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 19 were the most by a Gaucho in the rally-scoring era, the most ever in a conference match, and tied for the most in program history for any match.

As well as she played, Gregory thinks we have yet to see the best from her young libero.

“There were a lot of matches where Taylor would say ‘I could have been better’ even though she had 30, 35 digs,” said Gregory. “Her drive and determination to get better are second to none. Going forward, that dedication is what will make her a leader on this team, and I almost can’t fathom what kind of player she will be by her senior year.”

The AVCA All-American teams, for which Taylor is a nominee, will be announced next week.

West Region

Name School Position Year
McKenzie Adams University of Texas-San Antonio OH JR
Dana Cranston Colorado State University OH SR
Johnna Fouch San Diego State University S JR
Andrea Hannasch San Diego State University MB SR
Liz Harden Boise State University RS SR
Emily Hartong University of Hawaii OH JR
Casey Hinger CSU-Northridge MB SO
Kayla Neto CSU-Fullerton OH SR
Chisom Okpala Long Beach State University MB SO
Megan Plourde Colorado State University MB SR
Jodi Purdy University of Wyoming OH SR
Chantale Riddle University of New Mexico RS SO
Mita Uiato University of Hawai’i S JR
Kristin Winkler UC Irvine L SR

Region Freshman of the Year: Taylor Formico, UC Santa Barbara, L

Honorable Mention:  





Taylor Formico

UC Santa Barbara



Meredith Hays

New Mexico State University



Janisa Johnson

Long Beach State University



Brieon Paige

Colorado State University



Tara Roenicke

Long Beach State University



Shay Sorensen

Utah State University



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