2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team released

A nationwide voting committee selected eight players to the annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team honors the top NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball freshmen players from the regular season. It is also the only Freshmen All-American Team presented in college men’s volleyball.


UCLA led all teams with two players earning Freshman All-American Team honors. In addition, UCLA outside attackers J.T. Hatch and Jake Arnitz were among the top-five vote-getters for the All-American Team.

Ball State, IPFW, George Mason, Ohio State and UC Santa Barbara each had one player selected to the Freshmen All-American Team. Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen was also leading vote-getter among all freshmen in the nation.

Players eligible for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team had to be on an active roster of a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team and be listed as a freshman or redshirt freshman.

A player earning a spot on the Freshmen All-American Team had to be among the top 10 vote-getters and appear on at least 40 percent of all the fully submitted ballots.

The more than 30-member voting committee was comprised of men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

Off the Block is a national-award winning website that launched in January 2011 and has become among the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.

Off the Block annually presents national college men’s volleyball awards to recognize outstanding individual performances in the sport. Along with this being the second year for the Freshmen All-American Team, Off the Block during the regular season presented the National Freshman of the Week award.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2015 Freshmen All-American Team and produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB and U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.


2015 FRESHMEN ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
Setter: Brian Negron, George Mason
Outside attacker: Jake Arnitz, UCLA
Outside attacker J.T. Hatch, UCLA
Outside attacker: Alex Harthaller, IPFW
Outside attacker: Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Middle attacker: Matt Walsh, Ball State
Libero: Hayden Boehle, UC Santa Barbara

Others receiving votes:
Christian Hessenauer, UCLA; Shalev Saada, Grand Canyon; Jared Wilcox, McKendree; Bret Rutledge, Mount Olive; Enrique de Diego Garcia, Cal Baptist; Larry Tuileta, USC; Kyle Dagostino, Stanford; Dustin King, North Greenville; Evan Enriques, Stanford; Jalen Penrose, Penn State; Ben Plaisted, Loyola; Nick Drooker, King; Matthew McManaway, North Greenville; Jake Selsky, Loyola; Aleksa Bijelic, Coker; Simon Bruckner, Quincy; Josiah Byers, CSUN; Price Jarman, BYU; Brenden Sander, BYU

FRESHMEN ALL-AMERICAN TEAM PLAYER BIOS
Jake Arnitz, UCLA outside attacker
Arnitz led all MPSF freshmen with a 0.31 aces per game average and was second on UCLA with a 2.79 kills per game average. He also was selected as the Off the Block National Freshman of the Week in February and helped the Bruins qualify to the eight-team MPSF Tournament.

Hayden Boehle, UC Santa Barbara libero
Boehle was second among all freshmen in the nation and was in the top 10 in the MPSF with a 2.18 digs per game average. He also had double-digit digs in five matches as UC Santa Barbara qualified for the upcoming eight-team MPSF Tournament.

Alex Harthaller, IPFW outside attacker
Harthaller was fifth in the conference with 38 aces and among the top 15 in the MIVA averaging 2.95 kills per game, including have more than 20 kills in victories against Ball State and Belmont Abbey. He also was a three-time recipient of the Off the Block National Freshman of the Week and helped IPFW finish in fourth place in the MIVA.

J.T. Hatch, UCLA outside attacker
Hatch led all freshmen in the conference and was among the top 15 in the MPSF with a 2.85 kills per game average. The outside attacker also was a two-time recipient of the Off the Block National Freshman of the Week and helped the Bruins clinch a postseason berth.

Jeff Jendryk, Loyola middle attacker
Jendryk finished the regular season in the nation’s top 10 with a 1.18 blocks per game average, along with having a .498 attack percentage and at least nine kills in five matches. The middle attacker also was named the National Freshman of the Week in February and helped the Ramblers be ranked No. 1 in the national coaches poll for a majority of the season.

Brian Negron, George Mason setter
Negron led all freshmen in the nation and was among EIVA leaders with a 9.59 assists per game average. He also helped guide George Mason to a .255 attack percentage and a postseason berth to the upcoming EIVA Tournament.

Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State outside attacker
Szerszen led all freshmen in the nation and was in the MIVA top 10 with a 3.08 kills per game average. The outside attacker was also in eighth in the conference with a .317 attack percentage and earned Off the Block National Freshman of the Week honors in February as he helped the Buckeyes finish in third place in the MIVA.

Matt Walsh, Ball State middle attacker
Walsh was third in the nation with a 1.40 blocks per game average and led the MIVA with 126 blocks. The middle attacker also twice tied a school rally scoring era record with 14 blocks in a single-match as Ball State finished the regular season in sixth place in the MIVA.