A freshman who broke a conference record during the weekend is now receiving the first national award of his college career.
Off the Block announced Monday that Cal Baptist middle attacker Enrique de Diego Garcia was selected as the National Freshman of the Week.
Garcia had 16 blocks in a sweep against UC San Diego on Friday to set the MPSF single-match blocking record during the rally scoring era. In addition, Garcia had a team-high three blocks and added four kills as Cal Baptist lost to No. 3 UC Irvine in three games on Saturday.
This is the first time in the two-year history of the award that a Cal Baptist player has been named the National Freshman of the Week.
The Off the Block National Freshman of the Week is presented each week during the regular season to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball freshman who had the most outstanding performance. 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.
National Freshman of the Week honorable mentions
Alex Harthaller, IPFW — Harthaller had 12 kills on a .450 attack percentage as No. 11 IPFW swept Harvard on Saturday. The outside attacker also had 11 kills and a season-high 11 digs to help IPFW beat Sacred Heart in five games on Friday.
Jeff Jendryk, Loyola — Jendryk finished with a match-high seven blocks and added six kills in No. 1 Loyola’s road victory against No. 15 Penn State on Friday. He also had seven blocks for the second consecutive match as Loyola beat St. Francis in five games on Saturday to remain undefeated this season.
Matt Walsh, Ball State — Walsh tied a Ball State single-match rally scoring era record with 14 blocks in a sweep against Sacred Heart on Saturday. He also had a team-high five blocks and seven kills in a three-game loss to Harvard on Friday.
Jared Wilcox, McKendree — Wilcox had a career-high 27 kills on a .309 attack percentage in a four-game loss to Clarke on Saturday. He also finished with 60 combined kills as McKendree went 2-2 at the Park Invitational.
Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State — Szerszen had a match-high 20 kills on a .500 attack percentage as No. 13 Ohio State defeated George Mason in four games on Friday. He also led Ohio State with 14 kills in a four-game victory against Pfeiffer on Sunday.
Kyle Dagostino, Stanford — Dagostino had a team-high 14 digs in a four-game loss to No. 10 Long Beach State on Wednesday.
Peyton Schirman, Mount Olive — Schirman led all players with 17 kills as Mount Olive swept Limestone on Friday. In addition, Schirman had a team-high 13 kills in a five-game loss to Erskine on Saturday.
Curtis Westra, North Greenville — Westra finished with a match-high 16 kills to help North Greenville defeat Coker in five games on Friday for the team’s first victory in program history.