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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shoji nation's top player

Advertiser Staff and Stanford.com

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Kawika Shoji

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Stanford senior setter Kawika Shoji, a 2006 'Iolani School graduate, has been named the 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association Men's Division I-II National Player of the Year.

Shoji, who is from Honolulu, was honored at the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship Banquet last night on the campus of Stanford University, where the men's final four will be played.

"It's a great, great honor," Shoji said. "I am very proud. I have to thank my coaches and especially my teammates. It's a team game, and individual awards come with team accolades. Without our team, this award would not have happened."

Shoji led the Cardinal to a 22-6 record, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season and tournament titles and the No. 1 seed in the final four. Stanford plays Ohio State today, with Cal State Northridge and Penn State meeting in the other semifinal.

Last week, Shoji was named to the AVCA All-America first team for the second year in a row. He was a second-team All-American in 2008 and has received All-MPSF honors for four years.

Shoji ranked among the nation's leaders this season with 13.78 assists and 2.46 digs per game.

"His competitiveness and knowledge of the game, and athletic ability, is what sets him apart," Stanford coach John Kosty said. "It's a true combination of all three. It's years and years of knowledge, through working with his dad (Dave Shoji), to watching his dad coach the Hawai'i program."