A sophomore who was among the nation’s leaders in multiple offensive categories is now the 2015 Independent Player of the Year.
Off the Block announced Monday that Coker opposite Artur Cabral was selected by a nationwide voting committee of coaches to be the inaugural recipient of the Off the Block Independent Player of the Year.
The Off the Block Independent Player of the Year is presented to the best college men’s volleyball player during the regular season on a NCAA Division I-II team or team transitioning to NCAA Division I-II that competed as an independent without a conference. Players from the four independent teams — Alderson Broaddus, Charleston, Coker and Holy Names — were eligible for the award this year.
Cabral finished the regular season in the nation’s top 10 with both a 3.90 kills per game average and a 0.57 aces per game average. The sophomore also had more than 15 kills in 11 matches, including having a season-high 24 kills in a near upset against Belmont Abbey in March.
Along with that offensive performance, Cabral led Coker to a 4-1 record against other independent teams and had a combined 51 kills in those matches.
“Artur has served as one of the most valuable assets to our program both on and off the court throughout the course of this season,” Coker coach Eric Snyder said. “He is a joy to coach. He is a joy to be around. He gives back a lot to the community. He is a great student on campus. Artur has played multiple positions both left side and right side and a serving specialist. He is pretty amazing.”
The voting committee for the Off the Block Independent Player of the Year was comprised of the head coaches from the four independent teams.
Cabral received half of the first-place votes and beat-out the runner-up Alderson Broaddus outside attacker Obenda Besongngem by 10 votes. In addition, Alderson Broaddus outside attacker Will Ruiz, Alderson Broaddus setter Kody Deiter and Coker outside attacker Luke Hansen rounded-out the top-five vote-getters for the award.
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 annually presents national college men’s volleyball awards to recognize outstanding individual performances. Among the other national awards it presents includes the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team, the Lloy Ball Award, the Karch Kiraly Award and the Bryan Ivie Award.
INDEPENDENT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: TOP 5 VOTING RESULTS
1. Artur Cabral, Coker — 35 (2) votes
2. Obenda Besongngem, ABU — 25 (2) votes
3. Will Ruiz, ABU — 22 votes
4. Kody Deiter, ABU — 21 votes
5. Luke Hansen, Coker — 15 votes