2014 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams released

A nationwide voting committee selected 21 players to the annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. 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.

Cover The Volleyball DebateLong Beach State and the two-time defending NCAA champions UC Irvine led all teams with three players earning Preseason All-American honors. The Anteaters also were the only team to have multiple players be voted First-Team All-Americans.

Ball State, Lewis, Loyola, Stanford and UCLA each had two Preseason All-American selections. Along with these seven schools, USC, Pepperdine, Penn State and Pacific 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 19-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. However, a tie for the final spot resulted in the second-team being expanded to 11 players.

Off the Block is a national-award winning website that launched in January 2011 and has become among the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.

Off the Block has annually presented the men’s volleyball Division I-II Preseason All-American Teams since 2011. It is also the only volleyball organization to present men’s volleyball Preseason All-American Teams.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2014 Preseason All-American Teams. Springbak, Inc. produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.

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


OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Micah Christenson, USC
Setter: Matt West, Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Collin Mehring, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Brian Cook, Stanford
Outside attacker: Taylor Crabb, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Gonzalo Quiroga, UCLA
Outside attacker: Aaron Russell, Penn State
Outside attacker: Taylor Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
Libero: Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: BJ Boldog, Lewis
Setter: Connor Olbright, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Connor Hughes, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Steven Irvin, Stanford
Outside attacker: Thomas Jaescke, Loyola
Outside attacker: Geoff Powell, Lewis
Middle attacker: Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State
Middle attacker: Matt Leske, Ball State
Middle attacker: Kevin Owens, Ball State
Middle attacker: Spencer Rowe, UCLA
Libero: Javier Caceres, Pacific

Others receiving votes: Taylor Hammond, Penn State; Peter Heinen, Ohio State; Robert Feathers, USC; Scott Kevorken, UC Irvine; Pat Schwagler, Princeton; Michael Henchy, Ohio State; Cody Kessel, Princeton; Zack La Cavera, UC Irvine; James Shaw, Stanford; Henry Cassiday, USC; Parker Kalmbach, Pepperdine; Andrew Lutz, Ohio State; Rob Page, UCLA; Jaylen Reyes, BYU; Josh Taylor, Pepperdine; Greg Petty, Lewis; Sinisa Zarkovic, Hawai’i; Caleb Zimmick, Harvard; Dalton Ammerman, Long Beach State; Cody Caldwell, Loyola; Tony Ensbury, Princeton; Tim Dobbert, BYU; Tyler Heap, BYU; Chad Kingi, UC Santa Barbara; Kyle Russell, UC Irvine; Jonah Seif, UC Santa Barbara; Bobby Walsh, Lewis; Brett Anderson, Cal Baptist; Connor Curry, Penn State; Angel Dache, Mount Olive; Jeremy Dejno, UC Irvine; Chris Gibbons, Harvard; Nick Goodell, Penn State; Ryan Hardy, UC Santa Barbara; Thomas Hodges, Pacific; Peter Jasaitis, Loyola; Evan Licht, UC Santa Barbara; Graham McIlvaine, Ball State; Maddison McKibbin, USC; Mike Michelau, Erskine; Nick Olson, Loyola; Logan Patterson, St. Francis; Josue Rivera, BYU; Omar Rivera, IPFW; Andrew Sato, Long Beach State; Brook Sedore, Hawai’i; Matt Seifert, Penn State; DJ White, Harvard; Yiwei Zhou, Lewis
For more on the Off the Block Preseason All-American Teams voting, click here to view the final voting results

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN BIOS
Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine
Brinkley was among the MPSF and national leaders last season with a 2.46 digs per game average. The junior also earned 2013 All-American and All-MSPF honors as he helped lead UC Irvine win its second consecutive NCAA championship.

Micah Christenson, USC
Playing multiple positions last season season, Christenson finished among the conference leaders with a 9.42 assists per game average and earned Second-Team All-MPSF honors. In addition, the junior during the off-season played with the U.S. Men’s National Team and helped lead the United States win the NORCECA championship and a fifth-place finish at the FIVB Grand Champions Cup.

Taylor Crabb, Long Beach State
Crabb, the 2013 AVCA National Player of the Year, was third in the nation last year averaging 4.18 kills per game and was in the nation’s top 10 with a .353 attack percentage. The senior also earned 2013 First-Team All-American honors as Long Beach State advanced to the MPSF Tournament championship match.

Brian Cook, Stanford
Cook was fourth in the nation with a 4.01 kills per game average last season, including a season-high 24 kills in an upset victory against Pepperdine during the regular season. The senior also was a 2013 First-Team All-American selection as he helped Stanford finish in sixth place and reach the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.

Collin Mehring, UC Irvine
Mehring was among the MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 10 last season averaging 1.25 blocks per game. The junior also earned 2013 All-American and Second-Team All-MPSF honors as he helped led the Anteaters to their second connective NCAA championship.

Gonzalo Quiroga, UCLA
Quiroga led the MPSF last season with 52 aces and was in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.68 kills per game average. The senior also earned All-American honors and was a finalist for the 2013 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year as the Bruins advanced to the MPSF Tournament semifinals.

Aaron Russell, Penn State
Russell, the 2013 Co-EIVA Player of the Year, led the EIVA with 40 aces and was in the nation’s top 20 averaging 3.59 kills per game. The junior last season also was named to the First-Team All-EIVA as he helped Penn State win its 15th consecutive EIVA championship.

Taylor Sander, BYU
Sander, the 2013 MPSF Player of the Year and 2013 Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year, finished in the nation’s top five with a 3.94 kills per game average while also being in the nation’s top 20 for attack percentage. The senior last season also was a First-Team All-American selection as he helped lead BYU to the MPSF title and the NCAA championship match.
Joseph Smalzer, Loyola
Smalzer, the 2013 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year, had a nation-best 74 aces, while leading the MIVA and being in the nation’s top 10 with a 3.81 kills per game average. The senior last season was an All-American selection as he helped led Loyola to the MIVA championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Matt West, Pepperdine
West led the nation with an 11.25 assists per game average last season and helped guide Pepperdine’s offense to finish among the national leaders with a .295 attack percentage. The junior also earned First-Team All-American honors as Pepperdine reached the 2013 MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN BIOS
BJ Boldog, Lewis
Boldog was among the national leaders last season with a 10.29 kills per game average. The senior was also a 2013 Second-Team All-American selection for the second consecutive year as Lewis won a share of the MIVA regular season title and advanced to the conference tournament championship match.

Javier Caceres, Pacific
Caceres led the MPSF and was fifth in the nation last season with a 2.72 digs per game average. The senior also was an All-MPSF honorable mention as Pacific finished tied for 11th place in the MPSF.

Connor Hughes, UC Irvine
Hughes last season was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player as he helped lead UC Irvine to its second consecutive NCAA championship. In addition, the senior had a team-high 11 kills in the NCAA championship match and finished the season among the team leaders with a 1.89 kills per game average.

Steven Irvin, Stanford
Irvin was among the MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 25 last season with a 3.31 kills per game average. The senior also was a 2013 Second-Team All-American selection as he helped Stanford finish in sixth place and reach the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.

Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State
Gregory as a freshman last season led the nation with a 1.47 blocks per game average and was a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year. He also was selected to the All-MPSF Freshman Team and helped the 49ers reach the MPSF Tournament championship match.

Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
Jaeschke, the 2013 MIVA Freshman of the Year, was in the nation’s top 30 averaging 3.19 kills per game and in the nation’s top 15 with a .340 attack percentage. In addition, he was a First-Team All-MIVA selection last season and helped lead Loyola to the MIVA championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance.

Matt Leske, Ball State
Leske last season was second in the nation with a 1.43 blocks per game average. The senior also was a Second-Team All-MIVA selection and finalist for the 2013 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year as he helped Ball State reached the MIVA Tournament semifinals.

Connor Olbright, Long Beach State
Olbright had a nation-best 1,336 assists and was among the national leaders with a 10.86 assists per game average last season. The senior also earned Second-Team All-American honors as Long Beach State advanced to the 2013 MPSF Tournament championship match.

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS

Kevin Owens, Ball State
Owens last season second in the nation with a .402 attack percentage and was fifth in the nation averaging 1.33 blocks per game. The senior also earned 2013 First-Team All-MIVA honors as Ball State finished the regular season in third place and reached the MIVA Tournament semifinals.

Geoff Powell, Lewis
Powell was among the MIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 15 last season with a 3.60 kills per game average. The sophomore was also named a 2013 Second-Team All-American as Lewis won a share of the MIVA regular season title and reached the conference tournament championship match.

Spencer Rowe, UCLA
Rowe was among the MPSF and national leaders last season with a .484 attack percentage and led UCLA with a 0.91 blocks per game average. The senior also was a 2013 Second-Team All-American selection as the Bruins advanced to the MPSF Tournament semifinals.

One Reply to “2014 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams released”

  1. Quite a constellation of votes. At least I wasn’t the only one with a few off-the-wall picks in addition to the obvious first-teamers (though two of the first-teamers here I didn’t vote for at all).

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