Two freshmen who helped their teams go undefeated in the opening week of the season are both earning a share of a national award.
Off the Block announced Monday that UCLA setter Micah Ma’a and Hawai’i opposite Stijn van Tilburg were selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Co-Freshman of the Week.
Ma’a guided No. 5 UCLA’s offense to more than a .350 attack percentage in two of the team’s three victories against nationally ranked teams last week, including a .538 attack percentage in a sweep versus No. 14 George Mason. He also had 11 kills and 22 assists in a four-game win against No. 6 Ohio State and added 10 kills along with a team-high 26 assists in a five-game victory versus No. 10 Penn State.
Along with with Ma’a, van Tiburg had a match-high 18 kills on a .400 attack percentage in the sweep against Harvard on Friday. In addition, van Tiburg led all players with 15 kills while hitting .444 in as No. 7 Hawai’i swept No. 8 Lewis on Sunday to win the Outrigger Invitational championship.
This is the first time in the three-year history of the award that a Hawai’i player has been named the National Freshman of the Week. It is also the third time a UCLA players has received the honor.
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.
Graydon Schroeder, IPFW — Schroeder had a match-high eight blocks and aded nine kills as IPFW lost to No. 13 Stanford in four games on Saturday. He also added four kills in a season-opening sweep against Alderson Broaddus on Friday.
Julian Moses, Lewis — Moses had a match-high 21 kills and added two aces as No. 8 Lewis defeated Harvard in five games on Thursday.
Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton — Mandilaris had 15 kills and added two solo blocks as Barton defeated St. Francis in five games on Saturday.
Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State — Ensing had a match-high 17 kills on a .542 attack percentage as No. 4 Long Beach State swept Lindenwood on Friday. He also had both a match-high 10 digs and 17 kills on a .419 attack percentage in a four-game victory against Quincy on Saturday.
TJ DeFalco — DeFalco had a 12 kills and three aces to help No. 4 Long Beach State sweep Lindenwood on Friday. In addition, DeFalco had a match-high 17 kills as Long Beach State beat Quincy in four games on Saturday.
Sam Porter, CSUN — Porter helped lead the CSUN offense to more than .300 attack percentage in three of its first four matches of the season. He also had a season-high 51 assists and added two aces in a five-game victory against Sacred Heart at the Asics Invitational on Friday.
Arturo Iglesias, Cal Baptist — Iglesias had 22 assists and added a team-high four digs as Cal Baptist swept Lindenwood on Saturday. In addition, Iglesias helped Cal Baptist open the season 3-0 for the first time since the program transitioned to NCAA Division II.