A player from the EIVA for the first time this season picked up one of college men’s volleyball’s top individual weekly awards.
Off the Block announced Monday that Penn State middle attacker Matt Callaway was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.
Callaway had a match-high eight kills and six blocks, including three solo blocks, as No. 10 Penn State swept NJIT in conference play on Friday. In addition, the middle attacker led all players with four blocks in a sweep against Rutgers-Newark on Saturday.
With these victories, Penn State remains undefeated in the midst of its season-long 11-match homestand and is on a nation-best 10 match winning streak.
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 the Week honorable mentions
Hagen Smith, UCLA setter – Smith had a match-high 35 assists and added 11 digs to help No. 2 UCLA sweep Cal State Northridge on Saturday. He also came off the bench and had 34 assists in a loss to Long Beach State on Wednesday.
Lucas Yoder, USC outside attacker – Yoder had a team-high 28 combined kills in USC’s two matches last week, including a team-high 16 kills in a five-game loss to UC Irvine on Wednesday. He also added 12 kills in a sweep against UC San Diego on Friday.
Owen McAndrews, Loyola middle attacker – McAndrews finished with a match-high five blocks, while adding six kills on a .857 attack percentage as No. 1 Loyola swept Grand Canyon in their series finale on Saturday. In addition, the middle attacker had three blocks in the Ramblers’ series opening sweep against the Antelopes on Friday.
Casey White, Harvard outside attacker – White had a team-high 11 kills as Harvard swept George Mason on Sunday to remain undefeated in conference play. The freshman also had 11 kills and an ace to help Harvard defeat its conference-rival Princeton on Thursday.
Josh Donahue, Mount Olive libero – Donahue led all players with a season-high 20 digs as Mount Olive upset first-place Erskine in five games on Saturday. In addition, Donahue had a team-high 13 digs in a four-game victory against Limestone on Friday to help Mount Olive move into second place in the Conference Carolinas.
Nick Serowski, King outside attacker – Serowski finished with a match-high 18 kills and added an ace as King swept Belmont Abbey in conference play Saturday.