Dave Yoder, who helped lead the USC men’s volleyball team to three NCAA Final appearances in the mid-1980s, died Nov. 11 in Mission Viejo after a lengthy battle with lymphocytic leukemia. He was 46.
A four-year (1984-87) starting outside hitter at USC, Yoder won All-American second team and All-Conference second team honors as a senior in 1987.
His 37 matches in double-figure kills in 1987 set a still-standing USC season record. He is one of only two Trojans to twice record more than 20 kills and 20 digs in a match.
Yoder helped USC finish as runners-up at the NCAA Championship in 1985, 1986 and 1987. He made the NCAA All-Tournament team in the two latter years. The Trojans won the league championship in 1986 with Yoder’s older brother, Bob, as head coach.
A resident of San Clemente, Calif., Yoder played professional volleyball in Belgium in 1987 and pro beach volleyball in 1988 before beginning a career in real estate development.
He is one of four family members to play volleyball at USC. Bob Yoder was a 1977 All-American who led the Trojans to the NCAA title that season. As USC’s head coach for eight seasons (1982-89), he guided Troy to the 1988 NCAA championship. His niece, Erin, is a defensive specialist on the current No. 1-ranked USC women’s team that advanced to the NCAA semifinals last season. His nephew, Paul, is an outside hitter on the Trojan men’s team.
Another nephew, Cory, was a 2011 All-American outside hitter at the University of California, Irvine, and a member of the Anteaters’ 2009 NCAA champions.
Yoder is survived by his wife Karen, daughter Molly, son Lucas, mother June, brothers Bob, Jim and Paul, sister Mary, and 14 nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his father Paul.
A memorial service will be held on Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. at Casino San Clemente (140 West Avenida Pico, San Clemente, CA 92672). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mission Hospital (27700 Medical Center Road, Mission Viejo, CA 92691, 949-364-1400) or blood can be donated via the American Red Cross.