Merrick McHenry and his teammates have UCLA atop the rankings and aiming for back-to-back national championships. | Scott Taetsch/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Merrick McHenry is tearing it up on the volleyball court for the UCLA Bruins. Now the team and middle blocker McHenry, an out gay athlete and one of the Bruins’ stars, are poised for another run at a national championship.

The redshirt senior last month set the UCLA men’s volleyball record for career solo blocks. That’s an impressive feat particularly given the long, rich history of success for the UCLA men’s volleyball team.

Last season, McHenry was on the All-MPSF First Team. The MPSF is the West Coast men’s volleyball conference, as the Pac-12 (which is soon-to-be defunct anyway) didn’t sponsor men’s volleyball.

He also won All-American honors.

Since then, he’s been to the White House to celebrate the Bruins’ national title, among other adventures he shares routinely on Instagram.

This season, the Bruins are back on track to bring another national title to Westwood. They have now won five straight matches, beating cross-town rival USC twice, and also recording a big win against BYU.

Last year was the 20th NCAA Championship for the Bruins, the most in the NCAA. Though it was the school’s first since 2006.

McHenry will be a huge part of the team’s plans as they solidify their ranking heading into the tournament and aim for No. 21.

Could the gay athlete also be headed to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games? He is part of the Team USA senior national team, making some appearances in competition. McHenry has certainly catapulted himself into the conversation about the best men’s volleyball players in the United States.

Cheering for him at the Paris Olympics would be incredible.

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