LBSU’s DeFalco, Coker’s Santos named Co-National Freshman of Week

Two freshmen who helped their teams win multiple road matches last week are earning a share of a weekly national award.

Off the Block announced Monday that Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco and Coker opposite Joao Victor Santos were named the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Co-National Freshman of the Week.


DeFalco had a match-high 17 kills, four aces and 10 digs as No. 1/1 Long Beach State defeated No. 7/7 Hawai’i in four games on Wednesday. He also had 11 kills and a season-high 15 digs in a sweep against Hawai’i on Friday.

Santos finished with a match-high 24 kills on a .419 attack percentage and added four blocks as Coker defeated Belmont Abbey in five games on Friday. The opposite also led all players with 25 kills and had four aces in a four-game victory against North Greenville on Saturday.

This is the third time this season DeFalco has been named the National Freshman of the Week. In addition, Santos is the first player from Coker to earn the honor in the three-year history of the award.

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
Colon Mahan, Loyola — Mahan had both a match-high 13 kills on a .478 attack percentage and nine digs in a sweep against McKendree on Saturday. He also had a nine kills and two blocks to help No. 11 Loyola defeat its in-state rival No. 14 Lewis in five games on Tuesday.

Julian Moses, Lewis — Moses finished with a match-high 17 kills on a .517 attack percentage as No. 14 Lewis defeated McKendree in four games on Friday.

Trevor Dow, Harvard — Dow had a match-high six blocks and added six kills on a .556 attack percentage in a sweep against its rival Princeton on Friday. He also had six blocks and five kills with zero attack errors as Harvard lost to NJIT in five games on Saturday.

Chris Wise, NJIT — Wise had a season-high 11 digs in a five-game victory against Sacred Heart on Friday. The libero also led NJIT with 11 digs in a five-game upset win versus Harvard on Saturday.

Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton — Mandilaris had a match-high 13 kills on a .579 attack percentage as Barton swept Alderson Broaddus in a non-conference match Saturday.

Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State — Tuaniga guided the No. 1/1 Long Beach State offense to more than .350 attack percentage in both its victories against No. 7/7 Hawai’i last week. The setter also added seven digs in the series-finale sweep against the Rainbow Warriors on Friday.

Micah Ma’a, UCLA — Ma’a had nine kills and team-high nine digs along with helping guide No. 4/4 UCLA to a .386 attack percentage in a four-game victory against its rival USC. He also had six blocks and two aces in a sweep versus No. 15 Cal Baptist on Wednesday.

David Wieczorek, Pepperdine — Wieczorek had a team-high 18 kills and added seven digs to help No. 10/10 Pepperdine defeat No. 13 UC Irvine in five games on Saturday.