Long Beach State's Bittner and Rivier's Hansen Named Sports Imports/AVCA National Players of the Week
Dean Bittner, a 6-8 right side hitter for then-No. 8 Long Beach State University has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week. Bittner was on fire last week recording back-to-back 20-kill outings, while only playing in six games. The two-time AVCA Men's Division I-II All-American started things off by notching 20 kills on .356 hitting with six digs, three blocks and an ace in the 49ers loss to top-ranked Southern California. He followed by hitting a blistering .833 - a career-high - while registering 20 kills, three digs, one block and one ace in LBSU's sweep of then-No. 7 Pepperdine. For the week, Bittner averaged 6.66 kills, 1.50 digs and hit an efficient .522. This marks the fourth time Bittner has earned Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week honors, his last nod coming on March 16, 2009, and the 19th time a 49ers athlete has been recognized. Long Beach State is coached by Andy Read.
Zach Hansen, a 6-1 senior setter for then-No. 6 Rivier College has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Week for his efforts in leading his squad to four victories last week. Hansen kicked things off by helping Rivier to a sweep of Johnson & Wales (R.I.), registering 21 assists, a kill and a block, while only appearing in two games. In the Raiders' next match, a white-washing of then-No. 11 Ramapo, Hansen dished out 39 assists and collected four kills, four blocks, two digs and an ace. Next up, he quarterbacked his squad to a 3-1 win over then-No. 10 Philadelphia Biblical, shelling out 60 assists, in addition to netting 15 digs, good for a double-double. He also netted two kills, two blocks and two aces in the match. Hansen wrapped things up by racking up 65 assists, to go along with four digs, four blocks, two kills and an ace in a 3-2 victory over Sacred Heart, an NCAA Division I program. For the week, Hansen averged 13.20 assists and 1.64 digs per game and directed the Raiders' offense to a .330 team hitting percentage. This is the third time Hansen has been honored as the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Week, his last distinction coming on January 26, 2009. The honor also marks the 10th time an athlete from Rivier has received the award. The Raiders are coached by Craig Kolek.