Agopian has played outside and opposite hitter with the Wolverines and at the club level. For the Anteaters, currently ranked third in the nation by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, Agopian will take the role of middle blocker.
“It’s really nice to have a kid that I am really happy for, because he worked so hard for it,” said Lou Panzella, who has coached Agopian all four years at Deer Valley.
Panzella compared Agopian to a Labrador retriever who will chase a stick all day. For Agopian, that stick is consistent practice, including long hours honing his spiking skills. That work ethic will come in handy when the 6-foot-7-inch Agopian plays at the college level surrounded by equally gifted athletes.
In his senior season, Agopian has chalked up 307 kills, 29 aces, 34 blocks, 101 digs and 20 assists.
Beyond the hard work and raw skill, Panzella said Agopian’s greatest asset is his quiet leadership. One of the best players on the floor, he doesn’t act like it, which endears him to his teammates. Instead, he’s grateful for what he has and works hard to make himself better.
Agopian’s roster of potential colleges included UC Irvine, Hawaii, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Pacific. He chose Irvine because of its academics, proximity to the beach, strong coaching staff and success in the sport of volleyball. NCAA Division I champions in 2007, the Anteaters were led by another local product, 2003 Liberty graduate Matt Webber.
“It’s been great playing at Deer Valley. I’ve had a fun time with all of my friends and playing for Lou for all four years,” said Agopian. “I’m not really sad to move on, but it is going to be a different step, one I’m looking forward to making.”