2013 Off the Block Preseason All-American Teams released

A nationwide voting committee selected 20 players to the Off the Block Preseason All-American Teams.

The Off the Block Preseason All-American Teams recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season. Ten players were selected as Preseason First-Team All-Americans and 10 players were named Preseason Second-Team All-Americans.


USC led all teams with three players earning Preseason All-American honors. The Trojans return a majority of their starters from last season after winning the MPSF regular season championship and reaching the NCAA championship match.

BYU, Lewis, Loyola, Pepperdine, Stanford and UC Irvine each had two Preseason All-American selections. Of these schools BYU and Lewis were the only teams to have multiple players on the Preseason First-Team All-American list.

Along with these seven teams, Long Beach State, Pacific, Penn State, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara each had one player selected to a Preseason All-American Team.

Players eligible for the Preseason All-American Teams had to be on an active roster of a Division I-II men’s volleyball team.

The 18-member voting committee for these teams was comprised of men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

The 10 players receiving the most votes were named Preseason First-Team All-Americans, while the next top 10 vote-getters were selected as Preseason Second-Team All-Americans.

This is the second year that Off the Block has organized voting for the Preseason All-American Teams. Off the Block is a website that launched in January 2011 and solely focuses on college men’s volleyball news and analysis.

The NCAA men’s volleyball season begins in January and concludes with the Final Four in May.

Please refer to the following pages for the Preseason All-American Team selections, complete voting results and Preseason All-American player bios.

OFF THE BLOCK PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAMS

Off the Block Preseason First-Team All-American
Setter:
Micah Christenson, USC
Setter: BJ Boldog, Lewis
Middle attacker: Russell Lavaja, BYU
Outside attacker: Jay Petty, Lewis
Outside attacker: Aaron Russell, Penn State
Outside attacker: Taylor Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
Outside attacker: Kevin Tillie, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Maurice Torres, Pepperdine
Libero: Henry Cassiday, USC

Off the Block Preseason Second-Team All-American
Setter:
Matt West, Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Dylan Davis, UC Santa Barbara
Middle attacker: Robert Feathers, USC
Middle attacker: Eric Mochalski, Stanford
Outside attacker: Brian Cook, Stanford
Outside attacker: Taylor Crabb, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Jeremy Dejno, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Gonzalo Quiroga, UCLA
Libero: Javier Caceres, Pacific
Libero: Peter Jasaitis, Loyola

Others receiving votes: Steven Irvin, Stanford; Josh Taylor, Pepperdine; Chris Austin, UC Irvine; Taylor Hughes, Pacific; Cody Kessel, Princeton; Nick Goodell, Penn State; Evan Mottram, UCLA; Connor Curry, Penn State; Geoff Powell, Lewis; Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine; Mark Jones, George Mason; Connor Hughes, UC Irvine; Scott Kevorken, UC Irvine; Matt Leske, Ball State; Grayson Overman, Ohio State; Ben Ponnet, Grand Canyon; Trent Bruns, Grand Canyon; Tom Comfort, Penn State; Piotr Dabrowski, George Mason; Tony Ensbury, Princeton; Chase Frishman, UC San Diego; Jamion Hartley, Ball State; Michael Kvidahl, George Mason; Matt Mirick, Loyola; Connor Olbright, Long Beach State ; John Pranger, Quincy; Nick Turko, Penn State; DJ White, Harvard; Levi Cabral, Cal Baptist; Greg Faulkner, Cal State Northridge; Taylor Hammond, Penn State; Peter Heinen, Ohio State; Michael Henchy, Ohio State; Tanner Jensen, USC; Kolby Kanetake, Hawai’i; JW Kieckhefer, IPFW; Ben Lam, USC; JP Marks, Hawai’I; Aaron McCalmont, Cal Baptist; Max McFarland, George Mason; Kevin Owens, Ball State; Ben Patch, BYU; Greg Petty, Lewis; Scott Rhein, Pepperdine; Josue Rivera, BYU; Omar Rivera, IPFW; Adam Roche, St. Francis; Tommy Rouse, Ball State; Brady Smith, NJIT; Keith Smith, Grand Canyon; Brandon Lebrock, Cal State Northridge; Eric Varney, Lewis
For more on the Off the Block Preseason All-American Teams voting, click here to view the final voting results


OFF THE BLOCK PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS

BJ Boldog – Lewis, setter, junior
Boldog last season led the MIVA and was seventh in the nation with a 10.76 assists per game average and guided the Flyers’ offense to a conference-best .321 attack percentage. As a sophomore he was a Second-Team All-American selection as Lewis won to the MIVA championship and made its first Final Four appearance in eight years.

Henry Cassiday – USC, libero, junior
Cassiday was among the conference leaders and in the nation’s top 20 with a 2.19 digs per game average. The junior last season was a Second-Team All-American selection as the Trojans won the MPSF regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Micah Christenson – USC, setter, sophomore
Christenson, the 2012 AVCA National Newcomer of the Year, was among conference leaders and eighth in the nation last season with a 10.75 assists per game average. The Second-Team All-American last year also started every match as USC won the MPSF regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Russell Lavaja – BYU, middle attacker, senior
Lavaja led the nation with 157 total blocks and was ranked sixth in the nation with a 1.42 blocks per game average. The senior last season earned Second-Team All-MPSF honors as BYU finished tied for second place in the MPSF and reached the conference tournament semifinals.

Jay Petty – Lewis, outside attacker, senior
Petty was second in the MIVA and sixth in the nation with a 4.01 kills per game average. As a junior and Second-Team All-American selection last season he was also in the nation’s top 15 with a .318 attack percentage as he helped lead Lewis to its first MIVA title and Final Four appearance in eight years.

Aaron Russell — Penn State, outside attacker, sophomore
Russell led Penn State with a 0.94 blocks per game average and was in the nation’s top 40 with 25 aces. As a freshman last season he also was a First-Team All-EIVA selection as the Nittany Lions won their 14th consecutive EIVA championship to reach the Final Four.

Taylor Sander – BYU, outside attacker, junior
Despite missing a month with a hand injury, Sander ended last season leading the MPSF and second in the nation with a 4.89 kills per game average. The sophomore was a First-Team All-American selection and helped BYU finish tied for second in the MPSF and reach the conference tournament semifinals.

Joseph Smalzer — Loyola, outside attacker, junior
Smalzer led the MIVA and was sixth in the nation with a 0.49 aces per game average, while also finishing the year in nation’s top 25 with a 3.44 kills per game average. He also earned Second-Team All-American honors and National Player of the Week honors as he helped led the Ramblers to the MIVA Tournament semifinals.

Kevin Tillie — UC Irvine, outside attacker, senior
Tillie in his first season in the NCAA after he transferred from a Canadian college was 11th in the nation with a 3.80 kills per game average. The junior First-Team All-American had a match-high 21 kills in a NCAA semifinals victory against Penn State and the Anteaters two days later won the national championship.

Maurice Torres — Pepperdine, outside attacker, senior
Torres was eighth in the nation last season with a 3.98 kills per game average and tied for ninth in the nation with a 0.42 aces per game average. The junior and Second-Team All-American was also among the nation’s top 20 with a .307 attack percentage as Pepperdine reach the eight-team MPSF Tournament.

OFF THE BLOCK PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS

Brian Cook – Stanford, outside attacker, junior
Cook was in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.50 kills per game average and a .308 attack percentage. The junior last season also earned Second-Team All-MPSF honors as Stanford ended the year tied for second place in the conference and reached the MPSF Tournament championship match.

Javier Caceres – Pacific, libero, junior
Caceres was second in the MPSF and seventh in the nation with a 2.50 digs per game average. The junior last season also was named to the Second-Team All-MPSF as the Tigers ended the season tied for 10th place in the MPSF and missed the conference tournament.

Taylor Crabb — Long Beach State, outside attacker, junior
Crabb was second on Long Beach State and in the nation’s top 50 with a 2.75 digs per game average. Crabb was a Second-Team All-MPSF selection as Long Beach State finished in sixth place in the MPSF and reached the conference tournament quarterfinals.

Dylan Davis – UC Santa Barbara, middle attacker, senior
Davis led UC Santa Barbara last season and was in the nation’s top 15 with a 1.14 blocks per game average. This is the second consecutive season that Davis has earned Off the Block Preseason All-American honors – one of five players to achieve the feat this year.

Jeremy Dejno — UC Irvine, outside attacker, junior
Dejno was 11th in the nation with a 0.38 aces per game average and was in the nation’s top 40 with a 2.95 kills per game average. The junior last year was named to the First-Team All-MPSF, and the Anteaters won their third NCAA championship in the last six years.

Robert Feathers – USC, middle attacker, sophomore
Feathers, the 2012 Off the Block Blocker of the Year, led the nation with a 1.60 blocks per game average and was one of two players in the nation with more than 150 total blocks. He also was named to the All-MPSF Freshman Team as USC won the conference regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Peter Jasaitis – Loyola, libero, junior
Jasaitis led the MIVA and was second in the nation with a 2.73 digs per game average. The junior last season also was a First-Team All-MIVA selection as the Ramblers finished in third place in the MIVA and reached the conference tournament semifinals.

Eric Mochalski – Stanford, middle attacker, junior
Mochalski last season was among the MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 50 with 100 blocks and a 0.92 blocks per game average. In addition, he had a .462 attack percentage last season – which would have led the nation but his 368 kill attempts were not enough to qualify him for the category.

Gonzalo Quiroga — UCLA, outside attacker, junior
Quiroga was among MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 10 with 47 aces and was second on UCLA with a 2.53 kills per game average. As a sophomore last season he also earned Second-Team All-MPSF honors as UCLA finished in fifth place in the MPSF and reached the conference tournament quarterfinals.

Matt West – Pepperdine, setter, sophomore
West was second in the nation with a 11.38 assists per game average and helped guide Pepperdine’s offense to a .284 attack percentage. In his freshman year last season, he earned All-MPSF Freshman Team honors as Pepperdine ended the season in seventh place in the MPSF and reached the conference tournament quarterfinals.