McKendree opposite Wilcox named National Freshman of Week

Add another first for things McKendree accomplished in recent days.

Off the Block announced Monday that opposite Jared Wilcox was selected as the Off the National Freshman of the Week to become the first player in McKendree’s program history to earn a national award.


Wilcox led all players with a career-high 21 kills on a .600 attack percentage as McKendree upset No. 12 IPFW in four games on Saturday. He also added an ace and four digs in the Bearcats’ first victory versus a nationally ranked team.

The home win against IPFW was the first MIVA victory for McKendree, a team in its second year and inaugural season in the MIVA.

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
Dustin King, North Greenville — King led all players with a season-high 19 digs as North Grenville upset Mount Olive in five games on Friday. The freshman also had a team-high 10 digs in a three-game loss to Barton on Saturday.

Pasquale Fiduccia, McKendree — Fiduccia had a 49 assists and guided McKendree’s offense to a .375 attack percentage as it upset No. 12 IPFW in four games on Saturday. He also had a match-high seven digs and added two kills in the win.

Shalev Saada, Grand Canyon — Saada had a team-high 15 kills to help Grand Canyon upset No. 11 Ohio State in five games on Saturday. He also had a season-high 17 kills and added seven digs in a four-game loss against Ohio State to open the two-match series on Friday.

Brenden Sander, BYU — Sander had a combined 17 kills to help No. 5 BYU complete a two-match home series sweep against No. 13 Ball State during the weekend. In addition, Sander finished both matches with more than a .350 attack percentage, including eight kills on a .467 attack percentage in the series opener.

Tanner Syftestad, UC San Diego — Syftestad had a match-high 16 kills on a .583 attack percentage as UC San Diego swept Holy Names in a non-conference match Wednesday. He also led all players with 11 kills in a three-game loss to No. 9 UCLA on Saturday.

Brian Negron, George Mason — Negron finished with 34 assists and guided George Mason’s offense to a .229 attack percentage as it upset No. 14 Princeton in four games on Friday. He also helped George Mason out-hit NJIT .359 to .123 and added three blocks in a four-game conference victory Saturday..

Matt Walsh, Ball State — Walsh had a team-high eight kills on a .429 attack percentage and added four blocks in a three-game road loss to No. 5 BYU on Friday.