Off the Block selected the eight finalists, and now it is up to the fans to determine who should win the 2011 Off the Block Fan Choice Offseason Award.
The Offseason Award recognizes the best performances from current NCAA men’s volleyball players in international tournaments during the summer and gives volleyball fans the chance to determine who was the best player.
Fans will determine the winner of the Offseason Award through online voting on the Off the Block website. The online poll will open at 12:01 a.m. (EST) Tuesday and end at 12:01 a.m. (EST) Thursday.
Check out the finalists for this award, and vote in the Off the Block Fan Choice Offseason Award before the poll closes.
Off the Block Fan Choice Offseason Award poll
Thomas Amberg, UCLA middle attacker
Amberg led all U.S. players in blocks in five of the team’s eight World University Games matches, including a match-high eight blocks in a sweep against Turkey during pool-play. The UCLA All-MPSF middle attacker also had at least 10 kills in a loss to Japan and in a victory against Sweden as the United States finished the international tournament in 13th place.
Micah Christenson, USC setter
As one of the youngest player on the U.S. roster, Christenson started every match and finished fourth among all players at the Men’s Junior World Championship in assists per game average. Christenson, an incoming freshman recruit for USC and the 2011 Honolulu Star-Advertiser Boys Volleyball Player of the Year, helped the United States reach the semifinals for the first time in the tournament’s history.
Carson Clark, UC Irvine outside attacker
Clark, an UC Irvine All-American outside attacker, had a match-high 16 kills in both the United States’ final two matches at the World University Games. The United States lost three of its last four matches before defeating Sweden and Norway to end the World University Games in 13th place.
Dylan Davis, UC Santa Barbara middle attacker
Davis led the United States and finished fourth among all players at the Men’s Junior World Championship with a 0.73 blocks per game average. The UC Santa Barbara junior also had a match-high six blocks to help the United States upset No. 4 Iran in the second round. The United States finished the tournament in fourth place.
Gonzalo Quiroga, UCLA outside attacker
Quiroga had a tournament-best 141 kills through the first two rounds of the Boys’ Youth World Championship and led Argentina to a fifth-place finish at the tournament. Quiroga’s best performance at the tournament came in a first-round victory against the United States as the All-MPSF outside attacker had a match-high 27 kills.
Aaron Russell, Penn State middle attacker
Russell led the United States in blocks in two of the team’s eight matches at the Boys’ Youth World Championship. The Penn State incoming freshman recruit also had at least nine kills in five matches — including a team-high 16 kills against Korea in the second round — to help the United States finish in 11th place.
Taylor Sander, BYU outside attacker
Sander finished second among all players at the Men’s Junior World Championship with 131 kills and led the United States in kills in six of the team’s eight matches. The BYU All-American outside attacker also had more than 20 kills in two matches — a five-match victory against No. 11 Spain in the second round and a four-game loss to No. 1 Argentina in the semifinals.
Matthew Tarantino, Pepperdine outside attacker
Tarantino led the United States in kills in three of its eight matches at the Boys’ Youth World Championship, including having a match-high 19 kills in an upset victory against No. 2 Russia. The incoming freshman recruit for Pepperdine also had 20 kills in an opening-round victory against No. 10 Egypt. The United States ended the tournament in 11th place.