Santa Barbara’s Jeremy Casebeer and Theo Brunner were recognized for their play on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour with year-end awards. Casebeer was named the tour’s Most Improved Player in 2014, while Brunner earned the Best Blocker Award for the second straight season.
Casebeer, 25, a Santa Barbara High and UCLA graduate, had a break-out season, taking a third in Cincinnati, a fifth-place in Milwaukee and St. Petersburg, Fla., and a seventh at the Manhattan Open with partner Casey Jennings.
Brunner played with Olympic gold medalist Todd Rogers. The 6-7 former UCSB indoor volleyball star stuffed his opponents 163 times, putting him at the top of the list among men’s players. His 2.12 blocks-per-game average was also No. 1 on the tour. Brunner and Rogers finished second at the Manhattan Open and third in Salt Lake City.
Another player with local ties that was honored was Nick Lucena. He was named the tour’s Best Defender for the second time in his career. He picked up a tour-best 447 digs this summer. His 5.52 digs-per-game average ranked third behind Jennings and Rogers.
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