Opposite Damani Lenore days after leading Cal State Northridge to an upset victory against No. 4 USC is now earning the first national award of his college career.
Off the Block announced Monday afternoon that Lenore was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.
Lenore had a combined 41 kills in Matadors’ two matches last week, including a career-high 28 kills as Cal State Northridge almost upset No. 1 Pepperdine before losing in five games on Wednesday. In addition, the Lenore led all players with 13 kills to help Cal State Northridge sweep USC on Friday for the Matadors’ first victory against a nationally ranked team this season.
Along with his offensive performance, the freshman was second on the team with four blocks against the Trojans.
This is the first time in the inaugural year of the college men’s volleyball award that a Cal State Northridge player has earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week honors.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week is presented to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball freshman who had the most outstanding performance during the week.
The winner is announced every Monday during the regular season on the Off the Block website, offtheblockblog.com.
Each of the four NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball conferences have an opportunity each week to nominate one player for the National Freshman of the Week. In addition, fans and teams can nominate a player for the National Freshman of the Week by tweeting their nominee to the official Twitter account of Off the Block, @offtheblock11.
This new college men’s volleyball award will also lead up to the Freshmen All-American Team. The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team will be presented at the of the regular season and selected by nationwide voting committee of coaches and media members.
Off the Block is a website that started in January 2011 and has become among the national leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2014 Freshmen All-American Team and National Freshman of the Week and produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB and U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.
Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of Week honorable mentions
Lucas Yoder, USC outside attacker — Yoder had a match-high 19 kills with a .552 attack percentage to help No. 7 USC sweep No. 4 Long Beach State. This is the fourth consecutive week that Yoder has been named at least an honorable mention for the National Freshman of the Week.
Michael Saeta, UC Irvine setter — Saeta had a match-high 10 digs and 53 assists as No. 10 UC Irvine defeated No. 5 UC Santa Barbara in five games on Saturday for the Anteaters’ second consecutive conference victory.
Jacob Schmiegelt, Lewis middle attacker — Schmiegelt finished with a match-high nine blocks in a non-conference sweep against Sacred Heart on Saturday. The freshman also had four kills and two blocks to help Lewis beat Harvard in four games on Friday.
Radoslav Popov, George Mason outside attacker — Popov had 13 kills and an ace as George Mason defeated Grand Canyon in five games on Saturday to split their two-match non-conference series. The freshman also had a team-high 12 kills in the Patriots’ loss to the Antelopes in the series opener.
Josh Donahue, Mount Olive libero — Donahue led Mount Olive and had a career-high 20 digs in a five-game conference loss to Limestone on Friday.
2014 OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK RECIPIENTS
Jan. 6 — Lucas Yoder, USC
Jan. 13 — Lucas Yoder, USC
Jan. 20 — Andy Benesh, USC; Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine
Jan. 27 — Damani Lenore