A nationwide voting committee selected Loyola outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke, Penn State outside attacker Aaron Russell and George Mason opposite Paco Velez as finalists for the annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year recognizes the top individual serving performance from a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player during the regular season.
Jaeschke finished the regular season second in the conference with 42 aces and second in the nation with a 0.57 aces per game. He also had at least four aces in four matches as Loyola was ranked No. 1 for the majority of the regular season and earned the No. 2 seed for the MIVA Tournament.
Russell, a 2014 finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year, led the nation with 51 aces and had at least three aces in 10 matches. The All-American senior also was fourth in the nation with a 0.53 aces per game average as the Nittany Lions won the EIVA regular season championship.
Velez led the nation with a 0.60 aces per game average and was second in the EIVA with 50 aces. In addition, the junior had at least five aces in three matches to help George Mason clinch a berth to the four-team EIVA Tournament.
The voting committee for this award was comprised of more than 30 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
This is the third year for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year award. Former Loyola All-American opposite Joseph Smalzer repeated as the winner of the National Server of the Year the last two seasons.
The overall winner of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year will be announced Friday, May 1.
Off the Block is a website that launched in January 2011 and has become among the nation’s leading media outlets for college men’s volleyball news and analysis. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2015 National Server of the Year 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.
NATIONAL SERVER OF THE YEAR: VOTING RESULTS
Finalists (listed alphabetically)
Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
Aaron Russell, Penn State
Paco Velez, George Mason
Others receiving votes
4. Micah Christenson, USC
5. Brook Sedore, Hawai’i
6. Artur Carbal, Coker
7. Colin Hackworth, Lindenwood
8. Matt Tarantino, Pepperdine
9. Zack La Cavera, UC Irvine
T-10. Nick Serowski, King
T-10. Alex Harthaller, IPFW
T-12. Enzo Mackenzie, Sacred Heart
T-12. Michael Saeta, UC Irvine
14. Cody Kessel, Princeton