USC outside Yoder wins Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week

For the third time this season, USC outside attacker Lucas Yoder earned a national college men’s volleyball weekly award.

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


Yoder had a combined 38 kills in No. 5 USC’s two matches last week, including a match-high 23 kills in a five-game loss to No. 4 BYU on Saturday. It also was the second time this season that Yoder finished a match with more than 20 kills.

Along with his performance against BYU, Yoder led all players with 15 kills in a four-game conference victory against Cal Baptist on Wednesday.

Yoder through the first five weeks of the regular season is among the leaders in the MPSF with a 4.01 kills per game average. In addition, the outside attacker has won the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week three times and has been at least an honorable mention for the award every week so far this season.

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


Michael Fisher, UCLA outside attacker — Fisher had 10 kills and a match-high three aces to help No. 2 UCLA sweep No. 8 UC Irvine on Monday. The freshman also added five kills in both the rematch victory against UC Irvine on Saturday and in a sweep against UC San Diego on Thursday.

Damani Lenore, Cal State Northridge opposite — Lenore had a match-high 20 kills as No. 13 Cal State Northridge defeated Pacific in five games on Friday. He also led the Matadors with 11 kills in a three-game loss to No. 7 Stanford on Saturday.

Jarrod Kelso, Quincy middle attacker — Kelso finished with a team-high 14 kills in a five-game non-conference victory against Pfeiffer at the Lindenwood Classic on Friday. He also had 10 kills with one attack error and a team-high four blocks in a loss to Coker on Saturday.

Matt Callaway, Penn State middle attacker — Callaway had a match-high six blocks and helped Penn State in the three-game win hold Mount Olive to a negative attack percentage. The redshirt freshman also had five kills in the non-conference victory.

Joel Muhlbach, Limestone middle attacker — Muhlbach had a match-high seven blocks in a non-conference sweep against Coker on Thursday. In addition, Muhlbachh added four kills and zero attack errors as Limestone swept Belmont Abbey on Saturday in conference play.

Michael Polizzi, McKendree outside attacker — Polizzi led all players with 23 kills in a five-game loss to Coker on Friday at the Lindenwood Classic.