Long Beach setter Tuaniga named National Freshman of Week

A Long Beach State freshman for the second consecutive week is earning a national award following a conference victory against a nationally ranked team.

Off the Block announced Monday that Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.


Tuaniga guided the 49ers offense to a .347 attack percentage and had 34 assists as No. 2/3 Long Beach State swept No. 3/2 BYU on Saturday to split their two-match weekend series. He also had a match-high 40 assists and added 11 digs in a four-game loss to BYU in the series opener Friday.

This is the second time this season that a Long Beach State player was named the National Freshman of the Week. Outside attacker TJ DeFalco earned the national award last week after helping the 49ers win their first two MPSF matches.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. 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.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2016 Freshmen All-American Team and National Freshman of the Week 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.

Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week honorable mentions
Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i — van Tilburg had a match-high 18 kills on a .343 attack percentage and seven blocks to help No. 6/7 Hawai’i beat Grand Canyon in four games on Friday and complete the two-match series sweep. He also led all players with 14 kills in a sweep against Grand Canyon in the series opener Thursday.

TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State — DeFalco led all players with 16 kills and added seven digs to help No. 2/3 Long Beach State sweep No. 3/2 BYU on Saturday. In addition, DeFalco had a team-high 14 kills in a four-game loss to BYU on Friday.

Micah Ma’a, UCLA — Ma’a had 10 kills and six blocks along with leading all players with nine digs in a four-game victory against rival No. 15 USC on Saturday. The freshman also led No. 1/1 UCLA with both 17 assists and three aces in a sweep versus Cal Baptist on Wednesday.

David Wieczorek, Pepperdine — Wieczorek finished with a match-high 10 kills on a .421 attack percentage and three aces in a sweep against UC San Diego on Wednesday. He also led all players with five aces and added seven kills to help No. 11/10 Pepperdine upset No. 4/4 UC Irvine in four games on Friday.

Collin Mahan, Loyola — Mahan finished with eight kills and zero attack errors on a .727 attack percentage as No. 5/6 Loyola swept Erskine on Friday. He also had four kills and no attack errors in a sweep against Charleston on Saturday.

David Pyles, Quincy — Pyles had both a match-high 14 kills on a .667 attack percentage and five blocks as Quincy defeated a NAIA opponent Loras in four games on Friday.

Sanil Thomas, Ohio State — Thomas guided the Ohio State offense to a .371 attack percentage and added three aces in sweep against Coker on Friday.

Aleksa Brkovic, Barton — Brkovic had a match-high five aces and 36 assists as Barton swept Coker in a non-conference match Tuesday.