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Derrico Kwa, 18, of Antioch is the boys volleyball player of the year and is photographed at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., Tuesday, June 11, 2013. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)

ANTIOCH -- Setter Derrico Kwa had played on some good teams in his four years with the Deer Valley High boys volleyball program, winning 103 matches in his first three years and advancing to the North Coast Section Division I finals in 2011.

But no year, both team-wise and individually, could compare to 2013.

This year, the Wolverines won 42 matches and captured the program's first NCS title. They were led by their prolific setter, who was on the floor for every moment of all 44 matches.

On top of leading Deer Valley to a section championship, Kwa helped the Wolverines reach the NorCal Division I finals. Along the way, he set a school record with 1,274 assists.

For these reasons, Kwa has been named the Bay Area News Group's East Bay Boys Volleyball Player of the Year.

"We had a lot of weapons, but he was the one guy that if you take him out of the mix, we don't finish where we did," Deer Valley coach Lou Panzella said. "That's how important he was to our team."

Panzella, who has been the head coach at Deer Valley since 1997 and was at Antioch before that, has seen a lot of volleyball and a lot of players.

He said Kwa ranks up there with the best that he's watched play.

"From his freshman year, he was really good," Panzella said. "He worked hard, kept improving, and he ended up being one of the best I've seen."

Kwa had an incredible year individually, and he was thrilled to win one with his team, and also happy he was able to get Panzella his first title at Deer Valley.

At the team's awards banquet, Kwa showed the kind of personality that he has.

He presented his coach a card that said he was happy to win one for him, not just thinking of himself or his friends.

"This year was surreal, and it was great to go out with a bang," Kwa said. "It was fun winning it with all my friends after coming so close two years ago, but it meant a lot for us to win one for Lou."