The 2013 Blockys: Honoring the best and oddest in college volleyball

About two weeks since the 2013 season ended, and the college men’s volleyball withdrawal has set in.

In an attempt to help battle this withdrawal and put a wrap on the season, Off the Block is presenting the second-annual Blockys. The Blockys are Off the Block editor Vinnie Lopes’ awards recognizing the good, the bad, the goofy and the odd from the recent college volleyball season.

More than 150 Blockys were awarded this year in seven categories: social media, media, players, coaches, arena and crowds, matches and miscellaneous. Check out the 2013 Blocky winners.


SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS
Best team Twitter account: @UCLAMensVB, UCLA
Best newspaper reporter Twitter account for volleyball: Darian Somers, @StuffSomerSays, Penn State
Best radio announcer Twitter account for volleyball: C.J. Allard, @CJ_Allard_BSU, WCRD 91.3 FM, Ball State
Best broadcaster Twitter account for volleyball: Jarom Jordan, @jaromjordan, BYUtv
Best Twitter account for single-match promotion: @FilltheJohn, Ball State vs. Ohio State on March 22
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 for a match: #byutvsports, BYUtv
Best Twitter hashtag created by fans or media: #stevevailtaglines
Best social media moment: UC Irvine player during championship celebration on national television instructing photographers on what Instagram hashtag they should use
Best social media promotion: Giving away tickets to NCAA championship match via Twitter, AVCA
Best player’s Instagram account to follow: Robart Page, @robbie_page, UCLA
Best MIVA player’s Twitter account to follow: Matt Leske, @mwleske, Ball State
Best MPSF player’s Twitter account to follow: James Shaw, @James_Shaw, Stanford
Best EIVA player’s Twitter account to follow: Matthew Seifert, @Mseifet18, Penn State
Best Conference Carolinas player’s Twitter account to follow: Caleb Brophy, @TrophyWithaB25, Pfeiffer
Co-Best coach’s Twitter account to follow: John Speraw, @JohnSperaw, UCLA; Greg Walker, @gww5, Pfeiffer
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
Co-Best parody Twitter accounts: Ryan Boyce, @boycemustache, BYU; Pete Hanson, @HiOffTheHanson, Ohio State
Best Tweet celebrating a championship: Kevin Tillie, @kevintillie, UC Irvine
Best Tweet request for someone to pick up his All-American trophy: Matt West, @matt_west01, Pepperdine
Best Tweet reaction to Selection Sunday announcement: Aaron Russell, @FatRonRussell, Penn State
Best Tweet about men’s volleyball and food: Efrain Negron, @E_Negron4, Lees-McRae


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
Best match radio announcer team: CJ Allard and Drew Bogs, WCRD 91.3 FM, Ball State
Best match broadcast analyst: Mike Sondheimer, Bruins athletics department, UCLA
Best match broadcast play-by-play announcer: Jarom Jordan, BYUtv, BYU
Co-Best match broadcast announcer who is a former Olympian: Kevin Barnett, PAC-12 Network; Karch Kiraly, ESPN
Best match broadcast analyst who is a Hall of Famer: Al Scates, PAC-12 Network
Best match broadcast announcer performance with a one-person booth: Adam Amin, ncaa.com
Co-Best non-match men’s volleyball analyst: Jay Hosack and Mike Sondheimer, The Net Live
Best volleyball radio show: Kevin Barnett, Chris McGee, Dustin Avol and Jeremy Roueche, The Net Live
Best volleyball coach’s radio show: C.J. Allard and Joel Walton, “The Joel Walton Coach’s Show,” WCRD 91.3 FM, Ball State
Best postmatch show: Hawai’i postgame show, Oceanic Sports
Best team promo of the year:UCI Volleyball Promo,” Udaya Entertainment
Best men’s volleyball commercial:The Passion,” BYUtv
Best online video package of the year: Marc Arakaki, Hawai’i takes down No. 2 Pepperdine, Ka Leo
Best men’s volleyball game story of the year: Leonardo Villalobos, Long Beach stomps over flat UCLA, Daily Bruin
Best men’s volleyball personality profile of the year: Evan Barnum-Steggerda, Ball State sophomore makes unlikely ascent to team, The Ball State Daily News
Best men’s volleyball news-feature story: Darian Somers, Penn State volleyball grew together, The Daily Collegian
Best live interview: Kevin Barnett and Dustin Avol, Interview with UCLA coach John Speraw on Jan. 28, The Net Live
Most controversial article of the year: John Wheel, Pavlik finds little value in rankings and schedules, The Daily Collegian
Best bracketology of the EIVA Tournament: Darian Somers and Jon Wheel, EIVA Tournament breakdown, The Daily Collegian
Best coverage of team mascots in NCAA Tournament: Kevin Barnett and Jeremy Roche, The Net Live
Best use of the words “wow” and “unreal” during a match: Steve Vail, BYUtv
Best silent-era production of a match: Lindenwood athletics department, Lindenwood vs. Ball State match that featured no audio to live video stream
Best preseason video interviews conducted by player on team: Peter Jasaitis, Loyola
Best men’s volleyball team music video of the year: Loyola, “Loyola Harlem Shake
Best costumes in a men’s volleyball team music video: Princeton, “Princeton Harlem Shake


COACHING AWARDS
Head coach of the year: Alan Knipe, Long Beach State
First-year head coach of the year: David Kniffin, UC Irvine
Assistant coach of the year: Kevin Furnish, Ball State
Volunteer assistant coach of the year: Carl McGown, BYU
Statistician of the year: Giuseppe Vinci, BYU
Head coach of the year who’s only in a part-time position: Brian Baise, Harvard
Co-Best recruiting class: John Kosty, Stanford; Shane Davis, Loyola
Sports psychologist of the year: Andrea Becker, UCLA
Best dressed coach of the year: Bill Ferguson, USC
Best business casual wardrobe look: David Kniffin, NCAA championship match, UC Irvine
Biggest ejection of a coach this year: Arnie Ball, IPFW vs. Grand Canyon on March 2, IPFW
Best call-out off an official after a controversial call: Joel Walton, Ball State
Classiest reaction to losing match on a controversial call: Charlie Wade, Hawai’i
Best coach to be promoted midway through the season: Cassie Crumal, Lees-McRae
Best coach to be hired less than one week before the start of the postseason: David Schmidlin, Lees-McRae
Best Hall of Fame induction speech: Dan Friend, inducted into Newman Athletics Hall of Fame

PLAYER AWARDS
Best performance during a single match: Ben Patch, School-record 35 kills vs. UC Irvine on March 1, BYU
MPSF Player of the year: Taylor Crabb, Long Beach State
MPSF Most exciting player to watch: Taylor Sander, BYU
Co-MPSF Outside attacker of the year: Taylor Crabb, Long Beach State; Taylor Sander, BYU
MPSF Outside attacker combination of the year: Ben Patch and Taylor Sander, BYU
MPSF Middle attacker of the year: Dylan Davis, UC Santa Barbara
MPSF Middle attacker combination of the year: Colin Mehring and Scott Kevorken, UC Irvine
MPSF Setter of the year: Matt West, Pepperdine
Co-MPSF Libero of the year: Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine; Evan Mottram, UCLA
MPSF Most under-rated player of the year: Taylor Hughes, Pacific
MPSF Most quotable player: Ben Patch, BYU
MIVA Player of the year: Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
MIVA Most exciting player to watch: Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
MIVA Outside attacker of the year: Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
MIVA Outside attacker combination of the year: Joseph Smalzer and Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
MIVA Middle attacker of the year: Matt Leske, Ball State
MIVA Middle attacker combination of the year: Matt Leske and Kevin Owens, Ball State
MIVA Setter of the year: BJ Boldog, Lewis
MIVA Libero of the year: Brennan Anderson, Ohio State
MIVA Most under-rated player on the year: Colin Hackworth, Lindenwood
MIVA Most quotable player of the year: Graham McIlvaine, Ball State
EIVA Player of the year: Aaron Russell, Penn State
EIVA Most exciting player to watch: Cody Kessel, Princeton
EIVA Outside attacker of the year: Aaron Russell, Penn state
EIVA Outside attacker combination of the year: Mark Jones and Michael Kvidahl, George Mason
EIVA Middle attacker of the year: Pat Sibley, George Mason
EIVA Middle attacker combination of the year: Kyle Rehkemper and Caleb Zimmick, Harvard
EIVA Setter of the year: Taylor Hammond, Penn State
EIVA Libero of the year: Max McFarland, George Mason
EIVA Most under-rated player of the year: Logan Patterson, St. Francis
EIVA Most quotable player of the year: Aaron Russell, Penn State
Conference Carolinas Player of the year: Caleb Brophy, Pfeiffer
Conference Carolinas Most exciting player to watch: Caleb Brophy, Pfeiffer
Conference Carolinas Outside attacker of the year: Caleb Brophy, Pfeiffer
Conference Carolinas Outside attacker combination of the year: Angel Dache and Adam Miracle, Mount Olive
Conference Carolinas Middle attacker of the year: Mike Michelau, Erksine
Conference Carolinas Middle attacker combination of the year: Andrew Miller and Curtis Van Grinsven, Limestone
Conference Carolinas Setter of the year: David Specian, Pfeiffer
Conference Carolinas Libero of the year: Michael Schneck, Erskine

SERVING AWARDS
Co-MPSF Server of the year: Micah Christenson, USC; Gonzalo Quiroga, UCLA
MPSF serving performance of the year: Dane Worely, Four aces vs. Cal State Northridge, UCLA
MIVA Server of the year: Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
MIVA serving performance of the year: Joseph Smalzer, Seven aces vs. Ohio State, Loyola
EIVA Server of the year: Aaron Russell, Penn State
EIVA serving performance of the year: Michael Kvidahl, Six aces vs. Lees-McRae, George Mason
Conference Carolinas Server of the year: Angel Dache, Mount Olive
Conference Carolinas serving performance of the year: Angle Dache, Six aces vs. Pfeiffer, Mount Olive
Best serving team of the year: UCLA
Best serve of the year: Joseph Smalzer, Game-winning ace vs. Lewis in MIVA championship, Loyola
Best float jump serve of the year: Connor Hughes, game three of NCAA championship match, UC Irvine
Best and worst serving match of the year: Hawai’i in MPSF Tournament quarterfinals vs. BYU, eight aces but 22 service errors


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: Lewis
Best fan support for a road match: BYU
Co-Best attendance improvement from last season: Pepperdine; Ball State
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: Long Beach State Active Ankle Challenge
Best crowd poster of the year: Anonymous BYU fan, “Today’s Special: Cooked Crabb,” BYU vs. Long Beach State, MPSF Tournament championship
Best throwback volleyball venue: Gold Mine, Long Beach State
Most lines on a single volleyball court: Wooden Center, UCLA
Best public address announcer: Steve Shondell, Ball State
Best theme promotion for a men’s volleyball match: “Throwback Match,” BYU vs. Long Beach State on March 23, Long Beach State
Oddest men’s volleyball intermission promotion to televise online: Pie a school official, Lewis
Best promotion to get students to attend a mid-week game: Free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, Pepperdine
Best musical performance by a student section during a match: Pepperdine student section, “We are never ever getting back together” by Taylor Swift, Pepperdine vs. BYU on Feb. 15
Best storming of the court: Cal Baptist student section, Cal Baptist home upset vs. UC Irvine on Jan. 15
Best storming of your opponent’s court: Loyola student section, Loyola vs. Lewis in MIVA championship match
Best pep band performance: IPFW student pep band, IPFW
Best pep band performance for a road match: Princeton student pep band, Princeton
Best dressed pep band: Princeton student pep band, EIVA Tournament semifinals, Princeton
Best pre-match tailgate party: Lewis athletics department, Before Lewis vs. Loyola MIVA championship
Best attempt by a mascot to distract the opposing team during a match: Freddie the Falcon, Pfeiffer vs. Mount Olive on Feb. 20, Pfeiffer
Best performance by mascot wearing a scarf: Nittany Lion, Penn State
Mascot most likely to be mistaken for Mr. Freeze’s little brother: Willie the Wave, Pepperdine
Angriest looking mascot at a men’s volleyball match: Bedcheck Charlie, Lewis
Best renaming of a candy after a player by a fan: Matt Garthoff, “Ben Sour Patch,” NCAA championship
Best cheering section by fans wearing yellow shirts: UC Irvine, NCAA championship match

MATCH AND GAME AWARDS
Regular season match of the year: BYU vs. UC Irvine, March 1
Postseason match of the year: BYU vs. UC Irvine, NCAA championship match
Co-Conference tournament match of the year: Lewis vs. Loyola, MIVA Tournament championship match; UC Irvine vs. Long Beach State, MPSF Tournament semifinals
Non-conference match of the year: BYU vs. Lewis, Jan. 11
Game of the year: Harvard vs. George Mason, EIVA Tournament semifinals game five
Overtime game of the year: St. Francis vs. Lees-McRae, Feb. 10
Co-Postseason overtime game of the year: UC Irvine vs. Long Beach State, MPSF Tournament semifinals game five; Harvard vs. George Mason, EIVA Tournament semifinals game five
Co-Non-conference upset of the year: IPFW defeating Penn State; Springfield defeating Cal Baptist
Co-Conference upset of the year: Lindenwood defeating Lewis; Pacific defeating USC
Postseason upset of the year: Grand Canyon defeating Ohio State, MIVA Tournament quarterfinals
Best near-upset of the year: BYU vs. Hawai’i, MPSF Tournament quarterfinals
Best upset that wasn’t a huge upset: Harvard sweeping Penn State, Feb. 15
Comeback of the year: BYU beats UCLA in five games, MPSF Tournament semifinals
Regular season comeback of the year: UCLA beats Long Beach State in five games, March 13
Best comeback in a single-game: Lewis late-game rally, Lewis vs. Ball State game two, April 11
Best match no one saw: George Mason vs. IPFW, March 14
Best weekend two-match series: Hawai’i vs. Stanford, Feb. 1-2

MISCELLANEOUS
Feel good moment of the year: Brian Collins, Coming off the bench to serve on senior night for his first playing time of the season, Lewis
Biggest controversy of the year: Ending of BYU vs. Hawai’i, MPSF Tournament quarterfinals
Second biggest controversy of the year: Selection Sunday, Long Beach State and 49er fans vs. Selection committee
Best volleyball feud renewed: BYU vs. UCLA
Biggest late-season collapse: Cal State Northridge, losing final five matches to miss postseason
Best vintage 1980s look during a match: Cody Caldwell, Loyola vs. Ball State on Feb. 23, Loyola
Best ranking system: The NCAA Tournament
Biggest ticket failure: Lewis athletics department, Typo and factual error on game-tickets for Ball State vs. Lewis
Most awkward dig of the year: Chris Gibbons, Harvard vs. Loyola in Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic, Harvard
Best self-made on-campus viewing party of postseason match: Ryan Bischoff, Ball State vs. Loyola in MIVA Tournament semifinals, Ball State
Best midseason adjustment: Joel Walton, Putting All-MIVA outside attacker Jamion Hartley into the starting lineup, Ball State
Most celebratory player: Sinisa Zarkovic, Hawai’i
Best celebration of the year: Sinisa Zarkovic, Tebowing after getting a block vs. Pepperdine, Hawai’i
Most interesting celebration of the year: Ben Patch, Randomly diving across the court after a game-winning point vs. UCLA in MPSF Tournament semifinals, BYU
Worst injury to see of the year: Kyle Gerrans, Leg injury suffered in Pepperdine vs. Lewis on Feb. 15, Pepperdine
Most discussed injury of the year: Kevin Tillie’s multiple injuries, UC Irvine
Least discussed injury of the year: Jay Petty’s offseason shoulder surgery, Lewis
Coolest pre-serving ritual and routine: Jay Petty, Lewis
Best reason to not attend a No. 1 vs. No. 2 match: Chris Austin, Missed the BYU vs. UC Irvine match in January to coach his youth team, UC Irvine
Best reason to suspend this blog for a week: Getting married and going on honeymoon
Best team to take a three-week break in middle of the season: Stanford
Worst to watch a NCAA championship match: Gametracker, thanks ESPN.
Best disappearing act by player nicknamed The Wizard: Larry Wrather, redshirted because of a shoulder injury, Ball State
Best destruction of press row going after a ball: Mount Olive players, Penn State vs. Mount Olive, Feb. 2
Best destruction of a referee podium: MIVA officials, Ball State vs. Grand Canyon, Feb. 9
Best performance by a player with a Canadian maple leaf tattoo: Brook Sedore, Hawai’i
Most disturbing thing team did in hotel room: St. Francis, “St. Francis Harlem Shake
Best conference championship swag: EIVA, championship hats for players
Oddest conference championship swag: MPSF, Long sleeve championship T-shirts for players (it’s an indoor sport people)
Shortest-lived sanity for fans: Dan Wichmann, “Wichsanity,” Ball State
Team mostly to go to five-games in January: UCLA, Bruins’ first seven matches each went five games
Best cameo on a national televised show: Geoff Powell, interviewed by TMZ, Lewis
Best team that wasn’t allowed to compete in the postseason: Cal Baptist
Best mustache of the year: Ryan Boyce, BYU