BYU outside attacker Taylor Sander received a record number of votes to win the Off the Block Fan Choice Player of the Month for March.
Sander received 48.71 percent of the total vote out of a record 8,052 votes cast for this national college men’s volleyball award.
The Player of the Month award recognizes the best individual performances from NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players during the month and gives volleyball fans from around the world the chance to determine who was the best player.
Sander after missing all of February with a hand injury returned to the court and had a nation-high 176 combined kills during March. The sophomore also had four matches in March with at least 20 kills to help BYU enter April in first place in the MPSF.
Fans determined the winner of the Player of the Month award through three days of online voting on the Off the Block website.
The 8,052 votes was Off the Block’s highest turnout for a single online competition. The previous record was 2,121 votes for the Feburary Player of the Month award.
Sander received 3,922 votes to defeat runner-up and Pepperdine outside attacker Maurice Torres by 685 votes. Torres received 40.2 percent of the total vote.
Penn State libero Connor Curry finished in third place with 3.58 percent of the total vote. In addition, Loyola outside attacker Joseph Smalzer came in fourth place with 2.69 percent of the total vote, while Harvard outside attacker Matt Jones rounded out the top five with 2.45 percent of the vote.
Sander, Torres, Curry, Smalzer and Jones were among the 10 finalists for Player of the Month. The other finalists included UCLA middle attacker Thomas Amberg, USC outside attacker Tony Ciarelli, UC Irvine outside attacker Carson Clark, Princeton outside attacker Cody Kessel and Ohio State outside attacker Shawn Sangrey.
As the March Player of the Month, Sander will receive an automatic bid to the 65-player Off the Block Fan Choice Player of the Year Tournament at the end of the season. Torres will also receive an automatic bid to the Player of the Year Tournament because of his high vote total as the runner-up.
Sander and Torres join Kessel, BYU middle attacker Russ Lavaja and Penn State setter Edgardo Goas as the five players with automatic bids to the tournament.