UCLA outside Hatch named National Freshman of the Week

A freshman from UCLA for the second time in the last three weeks 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 had a match-high 17 kills on a .469 attack percentage and added seven digs as No. 9 UCLA defeated No. 14 Cal State Northridge in four games on Tuesday. The outside attacker also had a career-high 23 kills in a five-game loss to No. 10 Long Beach State on Friday.

This is second time this season that a UCLA player has earned National Freshman of the Week honors. Along with Hatch, outside attacker Jake Arnitz received the national award in February.

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
Bjarne Nikolai Huus, Long Beach State — Huus in his first career start at libero led the 49ers with 12 digs to help Long Beach State upset No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. In addition, Huus finished with a match-high 15 digs as No. 10 Long Beach State on the road defeated No. 9 UCLA in five games on Friday.

Shalev Saada, Grand Canyon — Saada had a season-high 19 kills on a .382 attack percentage in a four-game victory against Concordia-Irvine on Friday. He also had 11 kills and four aces in a sweep against Barton on Saturday.

Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State — Szerszen finished with 18 kills on a .516 attack percentage and led all players with five aces as No. 11 Ohio State defeated George Mason in four games on Saturday. He also added a team-high 10 digs in the non-conference victory.

Evan Enriques, Stanford — Enriques had a combined 21 digs in Stanford’s two upset victories against No. 4 BYU during the weekend, including a match-high 12 digs to help the Cardinal win the series finale in four games on Saturday.

Aleksa Bijelic, Coker — Bijelic had 34 assists and added a season-high six digs as Coker swept Emmanuel on Saturday. In addition, Bijelic guided Coker’s offense to a .356 attack percentage in a four-game victory against Marymount on Saturday to help the Cobras finish their non-conference event at 3-1.