A nationwide voting committee selected Pacific middle attacker Tommy Carmody, BYU middle attacker Michael Hatch and Ball State middle attacker Matt Leske as the three finalists for the 2014 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year is annually awarded to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player with the best front-row defensive performance during the regular season.
Carmody finished the regular season second in the nation with a 1.60 blocks per game average. The junior playing in Pacific’s final season before the university disbands the program also led the MPSF with 30 solo blocks and 144 total blocks.
Hatch was fourth in the nation with a 1.34 blocks per game average, including having a career-high nine blocks in a four-game victory against Pacific in February. The sophomore also helped lead BYU to a share of the MPSF regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament.
Leske, a two-time finalist for the National Blocker of the Year, led the nation with a 1.61 blocks per game average and 159 total blocks. The senior also had three matches with double-digit blocks as Ball State achieved its second consecutive 20-win season and a top-four seed in the MIVA Tournament.
This is the fourth year of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year. Previous winners include BYU All-American middle attacker Futi Tavana in 2011, USC middle attacker Robert Feathers in 2012 and UC Santa Barbara All-American middle attacker Dylan Davis in 2013.
The voting committee for this award was comprised of more than 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The overall winner of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year will be announced Tuesday, April 22.
Off the Block is a website that launched in January 2011 and has become among the nation’s leading media outlets for college men’s volleyball news and analysis. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2014 National Blocker of the Year 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 BLOCKER OF THE YEAR: VOTING RESULTS
Finalists (listed alphabetically)
Tommy Carmody, Pacific
Michael Hatch, BYU
Matt Leske, Ball State
Others receiving votes
4. Taylor Averill, Hawai’i
T-5. Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State
T-5. Nick Olson, Loyola
T-5. Jeff Ornee, Long Beach State
T-5. Bobby Walsh, Lewis
9. Nikola Antonijevic, Pepperdine
T-10. Thomas Hodges, Pacific
T-10. Joel Muhlbach, Limestone
T-10. Caleb Zimmick, Harvard