Women's Volleyball

Mitchem and Ucelay named IVC athletes of year for 2014-15

Mitchem and Ucelay named IVC athletes of year for 2014-15

Women's volleyball player Annie Mitchem and men's tennis player Guillermo Ucelay each had stellar two-year runs at Irvine Valley.

They were named the female and male athletes of the year at the college, respectively, for 2014-15.

It was the second-straight IVC athlete of the year award for Mitchem, who was also recently named the California Community College Athletic Association female athlete of the year for all sports.

Mitchem was the first Irvine Valley athlete to earn the CCCAA honor.

It is easy to say that Mitchem is the top female athlete to ever come through Irvine Valley.

She captured three CCCAA State Championships during the 2014-15 academic year.

Two of the state championships came with teams, and she also earned an individual state title.

The 6-2 sophomore middle blocker helped Irvine Valley win its first ever women's volleyball state title last fall.

The team finished with a record of 27-0 and Mitchem was named the Orange Empire Conference MVP and all-state for the second year in a row along with being the State Tournament MVP.

She also earned prestigious national recognition for the second straight year, being named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Two-Year College National Player of the Year once again.

In her three matches at the state tournament, she was dominant with 58 kills and 15 blocks in 11 sets, while making only five errors in 99 attempts (.535). Against Feather River she set a state tournament record for highest kill percentage at .826 (19 kills, 0 errors, 23 attempts).

She was a six-rotation middle blocker that led the nation in hitting percentage (.517). Mitchem was fourth in the state in blocks per set at 1.24, 10th in total kills with 358 and 13th in kills per set at 4.26.

She had double figure kills in 21 of 27 matches and also recorded eight matches with double figure digs.

In September, Mitchem was named the CCCAA Female Athlete of the Month.

Mitchem then helped lead Irvine Valley's sand volleyball team to the inaugural CCCAA title this spring.

Irvine Valley went undefeated against community college competition and defeated Grossmont, Golden West and Cabrillo in the state tournament.

Mitchem also teamed with freshman Emily Reinking to win the No. 2 pairs state title.

Mitchem will continue her volleyball career at the University of Hawaii in the fall.

Ucelay established himself as the top men's tennis player in Irvine Valley history with a standout two years.

He was named the Orange Empire Conference's player of the year for the second season in a row this past spring.

Ucelay helped Irvine Valley win two straight conference team titles. The team was 20-0 in conference the last two years.

IVC was the runner-up at the California Community College Athletics Association State Championships in 2014 and then won the program's first ever state title in 2015.

Irvine Valley finished with a record of 18-1 this past season and over the two years that Ucelay was part of the program the Lasers went 35-4.

Ucelay had a record of 10-3 in singles this past year with two unfinished contests. He had a record of 12-4 in doubles competition.

Ucelay reached the semifinals of the state tournament in singles and the finals in doubles.

As IVC's top doubles squad through the regular season, Ucelay and fellow sophomore Simon Guillin finished with a record of 12-3.

He had a singles record of 19-3 and a doubles mark of 18-5 in 2014.

Ucelay was also named an Intercollegiate All-American for community colleges in California the past two seasons.

To make All-American, a player must finish in the top 10 in singles of the final ITA college tennis rankings or in the top five in doubles of the final ITA rankings.       

He was Irvine Valley's first-ever men's tennis player named All-American in 2014.

Ucelay is headed to play at Division 2 BYU-Hawaii in the fall.

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