A nationwide voting committee selected Lewis middle attacker Bobby Walsh as the winner of the 2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year.
Off the Block announced Thursday that Walsh was the recipient of the annual college men’s volleyball given to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player with the best front-row defensive performance during the regular season.
Walsh led the nation with a 1.55 blocks per game average and had more than five blocks in 10 matches to help Lewis win the MIVA regular season championship. In addition, the all-conference junior was named the National Player of the Week in February after having a season-high 12 blocks in a non-conference victory against Penn State.
“Bobby has taken it to another level in terms of being able to read the game and using his physical dominance. You’ve seen that this year on a national stage,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said. “It’s awesome to see him get an award like this. He’s been a mainstay for us in controlling the defense all throughout the season.”
Walsh received eight first-place votes and finished with 47 votes to beat-out the runner-up Long Beach State middle attacker Taylor Gregory by eight votes.
Hawai’i All-American middle attacker Taylor Averill and Ball State freshman middle attacker Matt Walsh, the younger brother of the award winner, finished tied for third place with 37 votes.
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 fifth year of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year. Previous winners include BYU All-American middle attacker Futi Tavana in 2011, USC middle attacker Robert Feathers in 2012, UC Santa Barbara All-American middle attacker Dylan Davis in 2013 and Pacific middle attacker Tommy Carmody in 2014.
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 coverage. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2015 National Blocker 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 BLOCKER OF THE YEAR: VOTING RESULTS
1. Bobby Walsh, Lewis — 47 (8) votes
2. Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State — 39 (8) votes
T-3. Taylor Averill, Hawai’i — 37 (8) votes
T-3. Matt Walsh, Ball State — 37 (7) votes
5. Michael Hatch, BYU — 11 (1) votes
6. Ramon Burgos, IPFW — 3 (1) votes
T-7. Andy Benesh, USC — 2 votes
T-7. Greg Faulkner, CSUN — 2 votes
T-7. Davis Holt, Hawai’i — 2 votes
T-7. Jeff Jendryk, Loyola — 2 votes
T-11. Jason Agopian, UC Irvine — 1 vote
T-11. Enrique de Diego Garcia, Cal Baptist — 1 vote
T-11. Conrad Kaminksi, Stanford — 1 vote
T-11. Tanner Medina, Barton — 1 vote
T-11. Nicholas Olson, Loyola — 1 vote
T-11. Matt Tarantino, Pepperdine — 1 vote