A nationwide voting committee selected 22 players to the annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season.
The defending NCAA champions Loyola along with USC each had a nation-best three players earn All-American honors. In addition, Loyola outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke and USC setter Micah Christenson were the two highest vote-getters in the Preseason All-American voting.
Hawai’i, Lewis, Pepperdine, Penn State, Stanford and UC Irvine each had two Preseason All-American selections. Pepperdine also was the only team with multiple players making the First-Team All-American list.
Along with these schools, Long Beach State, Ohio State, Princeton and UC Santa Barbara all had one player receive Preseason All-American honors.
Players eligible for the Preseason All-American Teams had to be on an active roster of a Division I-II men’s volleyball team.
The 27-member voting committee for these teams was comprised of men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The 10 players receiving the most votes were named Preseason First-Team All-Americans, while the next top 10 vote-getters were selected as Preseason Second-Team All-Americans. However, a tie for the final spot and a requirement that each position be represented on both preseason teams resulted in the second-team having two additional members.
This is the fourth consecutive season that Off the Block has presented the men’s volleyball Division I-II Preseason All-American Teams. Off the Block is also the only volleyball organization to present men’s volleyball Preseason All-American Teams.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2015 Preseason All-American Teams. Springbak, Inc. produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.
The NCAA men’s volleyball season begins in January and concludes with the six-team NCAA Tournament in May at Stanford.
OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Micah Christenson, USC
Setter: James Shaw, Stanford
Setter: Matt West, Pepperdine
Outside attacker: Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
Outside attacker: Geoff Powell, Lewis
Outside attacker: Aaron Russell, Penn State
Outside attacker: Josh Taylor, Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Taylor Averill, Hawai’i
Middle attacker: Driss Guessous, Ohio State
Libero: Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine
OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Jonah Seif, UC Santa Barbara
Opposite: Nick Goodell, Penn State
Opposite: Cody Kessel, Princeton
Opposite: Zack La Cavera, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Cody Caldwell, Loyola
Outside attacker: Greg Petty, Lewis
Outside attacker: Brook Sedore, Hawai’i
Outside attacker: Lucas Yoder, USC
Middle attacker: Andy Benesh, USC
Middle attacker: Conrad Kaminski, Stanford
Middle attacker: Nicholas Olson, Loyola
Libero: Andrew Sato, Long Beach State
Others receiving votes: Matt Tarantino, Pepperdine; Peter Hutz, Loyola; Andrew Sellan, IPFW; Mike Michelau, Erskine; Grant Delgado, Stanford; Robert Feathers, USC; Michael Hatch; Nikola Antonijevic, Pepperdine; Tim Dobbert, BYU; Sam Holt, Cal State Northridge; Trent Kersten, UCLA; Josue Rivera, BYU; DJ White, Harvard; Connor Curry, Penn State; Mike McMahon, Barton; Mitch Stahl, UCLA; David Ryan Vander Meer, Ball State; Caleb Zimmick, Harvard; Brennan Anderson, Pepperdine; Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State; Spencer Haly, Stanford; Parker Kalmbach, Pepperdine; Weston Nielson, UC Santa Barbara; Omar Rivera, IPFW; Jake Staahl, UC Santa Barbara; Brendan Surane, Ball State; Sinisa Zarkovic, Hawai’i; Jake Arnitz, UCLA; Luis Bertran, IPFW; Tony Ensbury, Princeton; Jacob Delson, UC Santa Barbara; Greg Faulkner, Cal State Northridge; Colin Hackworth, Lindenwood; Alex Harthaller; Michael Henchy, Ohio State; Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine; Thomas Hodges, UC Irvine; Kolby Kanetake, Hawai’i; Ryan Mather, Grand Canyon; Matt Marsh, UC Santa Barbara; J.J. Mosolf, Pepperdine; Clayton Paullin, UCLA; Roberto Perez, Erskine; Jaylen Reyes, BYU; Matt Seifert, Penn State; Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State; Bobby Walsh, Lewis; Lucas Yanez, Lewis
For more on the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams voting, click here to view the final voting results.
PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS PLAYER BIOS
Taylor Averill, Hawai’i middle attacker
Averill led the nation last season with a .477 attack percentage and was second in the MPSF averaging 1.22 blocks per game. The incoming senior also in 2014 became the first Hawai’i player in three years to receive First-Team All-American honors as the Rainbow Warriors narrowly missed the postseason.
Micah Christenson, USC setter
Christenson was the inaugural recipient of the Lloy Ball Award, presented to the nation’s best setter, last season after leading the nation with a 11.62 assists per game average. He also spent the recent off-season before his senior season playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team and was named the Best Setter at the FIVB World League.
Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine libero
Brinkley last season finished in the nation’s top 10 with a 2.52 digs per game average. The senior also earned First-Team All-American honors in 2014 — one of two liberos to receive AVCA All-American honors — and helped UC Irvine reach the MPSF Tournament semifinals.
Driss Guessous, Ohio State middle attacker
Guessous was named the 2014 AVCA National Newcomer of the Year after leading the MIVA as a freshman with a .446 attack percentage. The sophomore also earned Second-Team All-American honors as Ohio State reached the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals.
Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola outside attacker
Jaeschke was among the MIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.73 kills per game average last season. He also became the first sophomore to earn MIVA Player of the Year honors as he helped lead Loyola to its first NCAA championship in program history.
Geoff Powell, Lewis outside attacker
Powell was second in the MIVA and among the national leaders with a 3.89 kills per game average last season. The senior also was a 2014 First-Team All-American selection and helped lead the Flyers last season to one of the two at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.
Aaron Russell, Penn State outside attacker
Russell had a nation-best 71 aces last season and was in the nation’s top 10 with a 4.00 kills per game average. The outside attacker also received EIVA Player of the Year award for the second consecutive year and led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Josh Taylor, Pepperdine outside attacker
Taylor as a junior last season ended eighth in the nation averaging 4.01 kills per game. He also was a 2014 First-Team All-American selection as Pepperdine was the co-MPSF regular season champions and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals.
James Shaw, Stanford setter
Shaw last season was in the nation’s top 10 with a 10.86 assists per game average and guided the Cardinal to the second-best attack percentage in the nation at .344. In addition, Shaw as a sophomore was a Second-Team All-American selection and helped Stanford reach the NCAA Tournament championship match.
Matt West, Pepperdine setter
West, a 2014 finalist for the Lloy Ball Award, finished last season eighth in the nation with a 11.00 assists per game average. The senior also earned Second-Team All-American honors last season as Pepperdine won a share of the MPSF regular season championship.
PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS PLAYER BIOS
Andy Benesh, USC middle attacker
Benesh was third in the MPSF last season with a .443 attack percentage and led USC with 91 blocks, including 14 solo blocks. The middle attacker also was a Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team selection in 2014 and helped the Trojans qualify for the eight-team MPSF Tournament.
Cody Caldwell, Loyola outside attacker
Caldwell was in the top 10 of the MIVA last season with both a 3.40 kills per game average and a .334 attack percentage. The senior last season also was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament after having a match-high 20 kills in the NCAA Tournament championship match victory against Stanford.
Nick Goodell, Penn State opposite
Goodell was second in the EIVA and among the national leaders averaging 3.79 kills per game last season. The junior also earned First-Team All-EIVA honors in 2014 as he helped Penn State win the EIVA championship and reach the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Conrad Kaminski, Stanford middle attacker
Kaminski led Stanford and finished among the MPSF leaders last season with both a .508 attack percentage and a 1.06 blocks per game average. The junior also was a 2014 All-American Honorable Mention and helped the Cardinal advance to the NCAA Tournament championship match.
Cody Kessel, Princeton opposite
Kessel finished last season third in the EIVA and was among the national leaders with a 3.52 kills per game average. The senior also earned First-Team All-EIVA honors last season as Princeton reached the EIVA Tournament championship match for the first time since 2010.
Zack La Cavera, UC Irvine opposite
La Cavera was in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.47 kills per game average and helped the Anteaters reach the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. The senior in the off-season also helped lead United States to a silver-medal finish at the Pan American Cup.
Nicholas Olson, Loyola middle attacker
Olson finished last season in the nation’s top 15 with a 1.12 blocks per game average. The junior also was a Second-Team All-MIVA selection and had a match-high four blocks in Loyola’s victory against Stanford in the NCAA Tournament championship match.
Greg Petty, Lewis outside attacker
Petty finished the 2014 season in sixth in the MIVA with a 3.43 kills per game average and had a .328 attack percentage. The senior last season also was a Second-Team All-MIVA selection and helped Lewis earn an at-large bid to the six-team NCAA Tournament.
Andrew Sato, Long Beach State libero
Sato ended last season second in the MPSF and third in the nation with a 2.80 digs per game average. The junior also earned All-MPSF Honorable Mention honors last season as Long Beach State reached the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.
Jonah Seif, UC Santa Barbara setter
Seif was among the MPSF and national leaders averaging 10.46 assists per game last season. The junior also earned Second-Team All-American honors in 2014 as UC Santa Barbara reached the MPSF Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2011.
Brook Sedore, Hawai’i outside attacker
Sedore ended last season among the MPSF and national leaders with a 3.70 kills per game average. The senior also was a 2014 Second-Team All-MPSF selection as the Rainbow Warriors narrowly missed the postseason.
Lucas Yoder, USC outside attacker
Yoder led all freshman and was sixth in the nation with a 4.02 kills per game average. In addition, Yoder was named the 2014 MPSF Freshman of the Year and an Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team selection as he helped the Trojans qualify for the eight-team MPSF Tournament.