Loyola middle McAndrews wins Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week

A freshman middle attacker who had multiple career matches to help Loyola maintain its No. 1 national ranking is now earning the first national award of his college career.

Off the Block announced Monday that Loyola middle attacker Owen McAndrews was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.


McAndrews had back-to-back matches with double-digit kills, including a season-high 13 kills in a four-game victory against IPFW on Saturday. The middle attacker in the conference win also led all players with five blocks.

Along with this weekend performance, McAndrews added 11 kills on a .625 attack percentage in a four-game road victory versus Ball State on Thursday.

This is the first time a Loyola player has earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week honors. In addition, the Ramblers with their two wins last week are on an 11-match winning streak and remain one of two teams in the nation yet to lose a conference match.

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.

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 the Week honorable mentions
Lucas Yoder, USC outside attacker —
Yoder had 18 kills and an ace to help No. 8 USC beat No. 11 Hawai’i in four games on Thursday. The freshman also had seven kills in the series finale sweep of the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday.

Jackson Bantle, UCLA outside attacker — Bantle had 10 kills on a team-best .529 attack percentage and added five digs as No. 3 UCLA swept Pacific in conference play on Sunday to move one-match behind No. 2 BYU for first place in the MPSF.

Christy Blough, Ohio State setter — Blough had a combined 77 assists and guided Ohio State’s offense to have almost a .300 attack percentage in both of its sweeps against Grand Canyon during the weekend. The freshman in the finale of the two-match conference series also added two solo blocks and an ace for the Buckeyes.

Jarrod Kelso, Quincy middle attacker — Kelso finished with a team-high seven blocks and added 11 kills as Quincy defeated Barton in five games on Friday. In addition, Kelso had a match-high four blocks in a non-conference sweep against Coker on Saturday.

Christian Malias, George Mason outside attacker — Malias had 10 kills in a conference sweep of Rutgers-Newark on Saturday. The outside attacker also had four blocks and match-high three aces to help George Mason sweep NJIT in conference play on Friday.

Jonathan Novoa-Miralles, Barton outside attacker — Miralles had a combined 31 kills in Barton’s two matches last week, including a match-high 18 kills in a five-game loss to Quincy. He also added a 13 kills in a non-conference four-game victory against Barton on Saturday.