Two freshmen who led their teams on offense during the weekend have now earned a share of a national individual award.
Off the Block announced Monday that George Mason outside attacker Radoslav Popov and USC outside attacker Lucas Yoder were selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Co-National Freshmen of the Week.
Popov had 34 combined kills in two conference victories, including a match-high 21 kills in a four-game win against Sacred Heart on Saturday. In addition, Popov led George Mason with 13 kills and nine digs in an upset sweep against Harvard on Friday.
Yoder finished with a match-high 19 kills and a .548 attack percentage in a conference home sweep against Pacific on Friday. The freshman also had a team-high 12 kills as No. 7 USC lost to No. 10 Stanford in three games on Sunday.
This is the fourth time this season that Yoder earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week honors — the most selections of any player in the nation.
Popov is the first player from George Mason to be named the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week. In addition, George Mason joins Penn State and Princeton as the three EIVA teams to have freshman earn this national award.
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 Week honorable mentions
Driss Guessous, Ohio State middle attacker — Guessous had both a match-high five blocks and a .533 attack percentage along with nine kills to help Ohio State defeat Penn State in four games on Friday. In addition, Guessous added 15 kills and four blocks in a five-game conference loss to IPFW on Wednesday.
Tim Dobbert, BYU opposite — Dobbert led all players with a season-high 15 kills to help No. 2 BYU beat Cal State Northridge in four games on Saturday. He also had eight kills coming off the bench in a conference loss to No. 3 Long Beach State on Friday.
Brendan Surane, Ball State outside attacker — Surane had a combined 18 kills and a .443 attack percentage in non-conference victories against Belmont Abbey and King during the weekend. The freshman also finished with a career-high 12 kills and seven digs in the sweep against Belmont Abbey on Friday.
Nick Wildes, Limestone setter — Wildes guided Limestone’s offense to a .361 attack percentage and had a match-high 27 assists in a sweep against Lees-McRae on Friday. He also had 39 assists and nine digs in a four-game conference loss to Erskine on Tuesday.