The 2012 Blockys: Honoring the best and oddest in college volleyball

Ten days since the season ended, and the college men’s volleyball withdrawal has set in.

In an effort to battle this withdrawal and help to put a wrap on the season that was, Off the Block is introducing the Blockys. The Blockys are Off the Block editor Vinnie Lopes’ awards recognizing the good, the bad, the goofy and the odd in college volleyball.

More than 100 Blockys were awarded this year in seven categories: social media, media, players, coaches, arena and crowds, matches and miscellaneous. Check out the inaugural 2012 Blocky winners.


SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS
Best team Twitter account: @BYUvolleyball, BYU
Best newspaper Twitter account for volleyball: @TDC_MVolleyball, The Daily Colleigan, Penn State
Best team Facebook page: UC Irvine men’s volleyball, UC Irvine
Best team usage of youtube and online videos: Lewis men’s volleyball
Best Twitter hashtag created by a team: #BeatBallState, IPFW
Best Twitter hashtag created by players: #roadtoGalen, Ball State
Best Twitter hashtag created by fans or media: #servegate
Best Twitter trending moment: Al Scates trending in Provo, Utah, during #servegate controversy
Best social media promotion: Giving away a Taylor Sander game worn jersey on Facebook, BYU
Best MIVA player’s Twitter account to follow: Eric Varney, @The_Varnicle, Lewis
Best MPSF player’s Twitter account to follow: Kyle Caldwell, @Kylecaldwell12, UCLA
Best EIVA player’s Twitter account to follow: Cody Kessel, Princeton
Best Conference Carolinas player’s Twitter account to follow: Efrain Negron, @E_Negron, Lees-McRae
Best coach’s Twitter account to follow: Mark Pavlik, @MarkPavlik, Penn State
Best assistant coach’s Twitter account to follow: Sean Byron, ‏@SeanDByron, Ohio State
Best Twitter account to follow of a player who only Tweets in Spanish: Gonzalo Quiroga, @gonchiquiroga, UCLA


MEDIA AWARDS
Best television production of a match: BYUtv, BYU
Best online television production of a match: BYUtv, BYU
Best radio production of a match: WCRD 91.3 FM, Ball State University
Best match radio announcer team: CJ Allard and Tim Keane, WCRD 91.3 FM, Ball State University
Best match broadcast analyst: Mike Sondheimer, Bruins athletics department, UCLA
Best match broadcast play-by-play announcer: Jarom Jordan, BYUtv, BYU
Co-Best non-match men’s volleyball analyst: Jay Hosack and Mike Sondheimer, The Net Live
Best volleyball radio show: Kevin Barnett, Chris McGee, Jeremy Roueche, The Net Live
Best team promo of the year: “The Serve,” UC Irvine athletics department
Best literary poem of a volleyball team: Anonymous fan, An Ode to BYU Volleyball, BYUtv
Best men’s volleyball game story of the year: Andrew Mishler, Ball State pulls upset on Ohio State, The Ball State Daily News, Ball State University
Best men’s volleyball personality profile of the year: Chris Kalra, Casebeer defies odds, making a big comeback after serious knee injury, Daily Bruin, UCLA
Best live interview: Kevin Barnett interview with UC Irvine coach John Speraw on Jan. 9, The Net Live
Best live post-match interview: CJ Allard and Tim Keane interview with Ball State coach Joel Walton after loss to Lewis on Feb. 5, WCRD 91.3 FM, Ball State University
Most controversial article of the year: John Stuetz, Title IX hinders men’s volleyball expansion, The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
Most controversial quotes in an article of the year: Anthony Carpio, Stagnant hitting lead to Matador loss to Harvard, Daily Sundial, Cal State Northridge
Best video package of the year: Ball State Sports Link, The Wizard of Worthen, Ball State University
Best video bracketology of the MIVA Tournament: Andrew Mishler and Steven Ward, CHIRP TV: MIVA Bracket Challenge, The Ball State Daily News, Ball State University
Best video pregame show and quasi-weather report: The News-Sentinel, MIVA Tournament quarterfinals IPFW vs. No. 14 Loyola
Best live coverage of a volleyball match that had a weather delay: Big Ten Network, Ohio State vs. Loyola (match featured 45-minute delay because of tornado warning)


COACHING AWARDS
Head coach of the year: Bill Ferguson, USC
First-year head coach of the year: Steve Bintz, Pfeiffer
Assistant coach of the year: Jay Hosack, Penn State
Volunteer assistant coach of the year: Carl McGown, BYU
Statistian of the year: Giuseppe Vinci, BYU
Co-Best recruiting class: Marv Dunphy, Pepperdine; Bill Ferguson, USC
Sports psychologist of the year: Andrea Becker, UC Irvine
Best dressed coach of the year: Dan Friend, Lewis
Best coach’s wardrobe to honor another coach: Mark Pavlik, Wearing rolled up khakis on the sidelines after Joe Paterno’s death, Penn State
Biggest coach’s wardrobe confusion among fans: Penn State assistant coaches, Wearing Hawaiian shirts during a road match against Pepperdine
Best postmatch speech to a crowd: Al Scates, Scates’ final home match, UCLA
Best video to honor a coach: Al Scates through the years, UCLA athletics department
Best protest of a call: Al Scates, Servegate, UCLA
Best overturn of a protested call that was initially overturned: Chris McGown, Servegate, BYU
Best coach to mic up during a match: Arnie Ball, IPFW (Seriously, one of the coolest videos I did this year)
Best coach’s mustache of the year: Joe Caruso, Quincy
Best coach to be hired midway through the season: Cameron Green, USC

PLAYER AWARDS
MPSF Player of the year: Tony Ciarelli, USC
MPSF Most exciting player to watch: Taylor Sander, BYU
MPSF Outside attacker of the year: Tony Ciarelli, USC
MPSF Outside attacker combination of the year: Carson Clark and Kevin Tillie, UC Irvine
MPSF Middle attacker of the year: Futi Tavana, BYU
MPSF Middle attacker combination of the year: Wes Dunlap and Thomas Amberg, UCLA
Co-MPSF Setter of the year: Kyle Caldwell, UCLA; Evan Barry, Stanford
MPSF Libero of the year: Erik Shoji, Stanford
MPSF Most under-rated player of the year: Miles Evans, UC Santa Barbara
MPSF Most quotable player: Julius Hoefer, Cal State Northridge
MIVA Player of the year: Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State
MIVA Most exciting player to watch: Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State
MIVA Outside attacker of the year: Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State
MIVA Outside attacker combination of the year: Jay Petty and Geoff Powell, Lewis
MIVA Middle attacker of the year: Matt Gallik, Lewis
MIVA Middle attacker combination of the year: Matt Gallik and Aaron Flick. Lewis
MIVA Setter of the Year: BJ Boldog, Lewis
MIVA Libero of the Year: Eric Varney, Lewis
MIVA Most under-rated player on the year: Ben Ponnet, Grand Canyon
MIVA Most quotable player of the year: Jamion Hartley, Ball State
EIVA Player of the year: Joe Sunder, Penn State
EIVA Most exciting player to watch: Cody Kessel, Princeton
EIVA Outside attacker of the year: Joe Sunder, Penn state
EIVA Outside attacker combination of the year: Joe Sunder and Nick Goodell, Penn State
EIVA Middle attacker of the Year: Aaron Russell, Penn State
EIVA Middle attacker combination of the year: Aaron Russell and Nick Turko, Penn State
EIVA Setter of the year: Edgardo Goas, Penn State
EIVA Libero of the year: Connor Curry, Penn State
EIVA Most under-rated player of the year: D.J. White, Harvard
EIVA Most quotable player of the year: Edgardo Goas, Penn State

SERVING AWARDS
Co-MPSF Server of the year:
Tony Ciarelli, USC; Carson Clark, UC Irvine
MPSF serving performance of the year: Tony Ciarelli, USC, 11 aces vs. Long Beach State
MIVA Server of the year: Jay Petty, Lewis
MIVA serving performance of the year: Greg Petty, Lewis, Five aces vs. Pepperdine
EIVA Server of the year: Nick Turko, Penn State
EIVA serving performance of the year: Piotr Dabrowski, George Mason, Seven aces vs. Penn State in EIVA championship
Best serving team of the year: UC Irvine
Best serve of the year: Dan McDonnel, UC Irvine, NCAA championship winning ace in overtime vs. USC
Most out serve of the year: Tony Ciarelli, USC, Serve vs. Lewis in game four of NCAA semifinals
Best and worst serving match of the year: UC Irvine in MPSF Tournament semifinals vs. USC, 11 aces but 26 service errors
Most controversial serve of the year: Servegate, UCLA and BYU

ARENA AND CROWD AWARDS
Biggest home court advantage of the year: BYU, Smith Fieldhouse
Best home crowd of the year: BYU
Best home crowd during postseason: USC
Best fan support for a road match: UC Irvine
Best men’s volleyball national championship on-campus parade and celebration: UC Irvine
Co-Best crowds for non-conference tournament: Outrigger Invitational, Hawai’i; Morgan Classic, Springfield College
Worst crowd for a non-conference tournament: UC Santa Barbara Invitational
Best crowd poster of the year: Anonymous BYU fan, “The Sandman,” BYU vs. Penn State on April 13
Craziest dressed fans of the year: Long Beach State student section, The Pyramid
Best throwback volleyball venue: North Gym, USC
Most lines on a single volleyball court: Wooden Center, UCLA
Best public address announcer: Steve Shondell, Ball State
Best back-up venue for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 match after getting kicked out of your main gym because of a karate tournament: Crawford Court, UC Irvine

MATCH AND GAME AWARDS
Match of the year: BYU vs. UCLA, April 6 — and April 7
Postseason match of the year: UC Irvine vs. USC, NCAA championship match
Conference tournament match of the year: Ohio State vs. Lewis, MIVA Tournament championship match
Non-conference match of the year: Ohio State vs. Stanford, Jan. 28
Game of the year: UC Irvine vs. USC game two, NCAA championship match
Overtime game of the year: BYU vs. UCLA game five, April 6 — and April 7
Postseason overtime game of the year: BYU vs. Stanford game four, MPSF Tournament semifinals
Regular season overtime game of the year excluding servegate: Ball State vs. Lewis game one, Feb. 8
Upset of the year: Harvard defeating Cal State Northridge, March 10
Co-conference upset of the year: IPFW defeating Lewis, Feb. 4; UC San Diego defeating UCLA, March 30
Best near-upset of the year: Penn State vs. Princeton, March 30
Comeback of the Year: UC Irvine beats Stanford in five games, MPSF Tournament championship
Regular season comeback of the year: UC Santa Barbara beats BYU in five games, Feb. 25
Best match no one saw: Penn State vs. Princeton, March 30

MISCELLANEOUS
Feel good moment of the year: Springfield College winning the Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic for the first time in its program history
Nice but awkward moment of the year: Al Scates being presented with a USC jersey at USC in honor of his retirement
Biggest controversy of the year: Servegate, BYU and UCLA
Second biggest controveersy of the year: Headset gate, BYU and USC
Best volleyball family feud renewed: McGown vs. Scates
Best ranking system: The NCAA Tournament
Worst ranking system: The Off the Block Relative Strength Factor (OK, I’ll admit I need to work the formula)
Best magician award: Quentin Smith, BYU
Most celebratory player: Larry Wrather, Ball State
Most awkward celebration: Larry Wrather doing the All-State Discount Double Check in a loss against IPFW
Scariest moment during a nationally televised match: Players leaving the court because a tornado warning was issued, Ohio State and Loyola
Most discussed injury this year: Taylor Sander’s hand injury, BYU
Best performance for a player with a hand towel hanging from his shorts during a match: Jay Petty, Lewis
Best performance by a volleyball player on a U.S. citizenship test: Futi Tavana, BYU
Best player’s mustache or facial hair: Matt Rogers, Park
Team with best mustaches: UCLA

4 thoughts on “The 2012 Blockys: Honoring the best and oddest in college volleyball

  1. Brady Smith is the best libero in the EIVA. Connor Curry just plays on the best team.

  2. As a fan, thanks Vinnie for having fun with the game, the season, the players, etc.

  3. Lewis middle blockers best combo in miva? Gallick best attacker? Does the leader in blocks in miva and 8th and 24th in nation as a combo mean nothing? Wow? Locker room wall material

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