The fans have spoken and BYU outside attacker Taylor Sander is the 2014 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Fan Choice Player of the Year.
Sander received more than 2,000 votes in the four-person championship round to win the annual college men’s volleyball national award decided solely by the fans.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Fan Choice Player of the Year is a 64-player bracket-style tournament that recognizes the best individual performances from NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players during the season and gives volleyball fans from around the world the chance decide the winner through online voting. The five-round tournament also had a record 38,145 combined votes this year, including more than 6,000 votes in the championship round.
Sander received 35.01 percent of the vote in the championship round and beat runner-up Lees-McRae outside attacker Brady Markle by 174 votes. Loyola setter Peter Hutz finished in third place with 1,765 votes, while BYU middle attacker Michael Hatch came in fourth place.
The All-American Sander earned the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed after named the 2014 AVCA National Player of the Year and finishing second in the nation with a 4.60 kills per game average. In addition, the senior was in the nation’s top five with 55 aces and was a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year as he helped lead BYU to back-to-back MPSF championships and a berth to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Sander received more than 4,000 combined votes throughout the five rounds of the tournament to become the first MPSF player to win the Fan Choice Player of the Year.
This award for Sander makes him the first person to complete the Player of the Year Triple Crown. Along with the Fan Choice Player of the Year, Sander was named the AVCA National Player of the Year and the Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year.
This is the fourth year of the Fan Choice Player of the Year. Several volleyball organizations present National Player of the Year awards, but this contest is the only National Player of the Year award solely decided by the fans.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the Fan Choice Player of the Year. Springbak, Inc. 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.