For the second time this month, a UCLA outside attacker is earning a national award.
Off the Block announced Monday that UCLA outside attacker J.T. Hatch was selected as the Off the Block National Freshman of the Week.
Hatch finished with a season-high 25 kills and added five blocks as No. 12 UCLA lost to No. 9 USC in five games on Saturday. The outside attacker also had eight kills and led UCLA with two aces in a four-game conference victory against Cal Baptist on Thursday.
This is the second time this season that Hatch has been named National Freshman of the Week. In addition, Hatch is now one of two players to win the nationally weekly award multiple times this season.
Along with winning the National Freshman of the Week on Monday, Hatch was named a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Player of the Month.
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.
Off the Block National Freshman of the Week honorable mentions
Jeff Jendryk, Loyola — Jendryk had a match-high seven blocks and added six kills on a .500 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 15 IPFW on Thursday. He also had five kills and zero attack errors as No. 2 Loyola beat Ball State in three games on Saturday.
Larry Tuileta, USC — Tuileta had a team-high 13 kills and added 12 digs to help No. 9 USC defeated its rival No. 12 UCLA in five games on Saturday. He also had 13 kills in a five-game victory against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Friday.
Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State — Szerszen finished with 14 kills on a .478 attack percentage in a four-game non-conference victory against Erskine on Saturday.
Jalen Penrose, Penn State — Penrose had a season-high 21 kills on a .308 attack percentage in a five-game victory against NJIT on Saturday. He also finished with 10 kills and hit .571 to help No. 8 Penn State sweep Princeton on Friday to remain in first place in the EIVA.
Brian Negron, George Mason — Negron had a season-high 52 assists and guided George Mason’s offense to out-hit Sacred Heart .294 to .265 in a conference win on Friday. He also added a team-high four blocks in a four-game loss to Harvard on Saturday.
Nick Drooker, King — Drooker had more than 40 assists in five-game losses to both Erskine and Pfeiffer last week. In addition, Drooker guided the Tornado offense to a .312 attack percentage in a sweep against Emmanuel on Saturday.
Bjarne Nikolai Huus, Long Beach State — Huus had a team-high seven digs and helped hold No. 13 Stanford to less than a .200 attack percentage in No. 10 Long Beach State’s sweep on Saturday. He also finished with 11 digs in a four-game loss to No. 3 Pepperdine on Thursday.