USC’s Yoder wins back-to-back Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week awards

For the second consecutive week, USC outside attacker Lucas Yoder earned a national award for being the top freshman college men’s volleyball player.

Off the Block announced Monday that Yoder was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.


Yoder had 13 kills and a match-high .706 attack percentage in No. 5 USC’s sweep against UC San Diego on Friday. In addition, the freshman had a team-best one attack error on 17 attempts in the victory to open the Trojans’ conference season.

Along with his offensive performance, Yoder against UC San Diego picked up the first ace of his college career.

The Trojans (2-0, 1-0 MPSF) the sweep remain undefeated through the first two weeks of the season. Yoder in the team’s season-opening victory against then-No. 7 Loyola on Jan. 4 had a team-high 16 kills to earn National Freshman of the Week honors last week.

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
Mitch Stahl, UCLA outside attacker — Stahl had 11 kills and a match-high four aces to help No. 6 UCLA defeat No. 10 Penn State in five games to open the Outrigger Invitational. The Bruins would go on to finish the non-conference tournament undefeated and win their fourth straight Outrigger Invitational championship.

Jakub Ciesla, Cal State Northridge opposite — Ciesla had 13 kills and a team-high four blocks as Cal State Northridge defeated Cal Baptist in its conference opener on Thursday.

Jacob Schmiegelt, Lewis middle attacker — Schmiegelt had six kills with a .400 attack percentage and four blocks in a non-conference sweep against Pacific on Saturday.

Thomas Hodges, Pacific outside attacker– Hodges finished with a team-high 16 kills in a five-game loss to Grand Canyon on Friday in non-conference play.

2014 OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK RECIPIENTS
Jan. 6 — Lucas Yoder, USC
Jan. 13 — Lucas Yoder, USC