Men's volleyball player Ruben Lopez signs with Aquinas

Men's volleyball player Ruben Lopez signs with Aquinas

Irvine Valley men's volleyball player Ruben Lopez has signed with Aquinas College.

Aquinas will begin a men's volleyball program beginning in the fall of the 2018-2019 academic year with the first official competition in the winter of 2018.

The college, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., will compete as part of the NAIA.

A total of 31 NAIA institutions across the country currently offer the sport of men's volleyball with the goal of qualifying for the National Invitational Tournament in mid-April.

Lopez, a 6-1 outside hitter, played for Irvine Valley during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

During the 2017 campaign, he averaged 2.64 kills per set and hit .330 on the year.

He had eight matches with at least 10 kills and recorded a season-best 18 kills in two matches - in a five-set win over LA Pierce on Feb. 1, 2017, and in a four-set loss to El Camino on Apr. 21, 2017.

Lopez also averaged 1.24 digs per set and 0.48 blocks per set. Lopez was named second team all-Orange Empire Conference for his efforts.

He helped the Lasers finish with a record of 15-4 overall, take second in the OEC, make the playoffs and reach the state championship quarterfinals.

As a freshman during the 2016 season, Lopez averaged 2.04 kills and 0.94 digs per set as the Lasers had a record of 11-9 overall.

Lopez came to Irvine Valley from Woodbridge High in Irvine.

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