A freshmen who help lead his team to a comeback victory and a berth in the MPSF Tournament is now earning the first national award of his college career.
Off the Block announced Monday that Hawai’i setter Joe Worsley was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.
Worsley guided the offense to a .475 attack percentage, while adding 59 assists, two aces and 10 digs as No. 8/9 Hawai’i rallied from two-game deficit to beat No. 14 UC Irvine on Saturday and clinch a postseason berth. The setter also had 41 assists and a team-high nine digs in the series-opening five-game victory against the Anteaters on Friday.
This is the second Rainbow Warrior to earn National Freshman of the Week honors this season. Opposite Stijn van Tilburg, who was an honorable mention for the award this week, is a two-time recipient so far this year.
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
Dante Chakravorti, UC Irvine — Chakravorti guided the UC Irvine offense to a .427 attack percentage and had a season-high 68 assists in a five-game loss to conclude a two-match series against No. 8/9 Hawai’i. He also helped the Anteaters in the series-opening loss hit .323 and had a match-high 56 assists.
Blake Leeson, Ohio State — Leeson had a team-high four blocks and added nine kills on a .583 attack percentage in a four-game victory against No. 9/8 Ball State on Friday. He also had eight kills and zero attack errors on a .889 attack percentage while adding two aces in a sweep versus IPFW on Saturday.
Michael Keegan, IPFW — Keegan led the IPFW offense to a season-high .394 attack percentage in a three-game loss to No. 1/2 Ohio State on Saturday. He also had a match-high 31 assists and added five blocks in a conference victory against McKendree on Friday.
Julian Moses, Lewis — Moses finished with 14 kills on a .480 attack percentage and a team-high two aces in a five-game road non-conference loss against No. 10/10 Penn State on Friday.
Royce Clemens, Penn State — Clemens had a season-high 17 digs to help No. 10/10 Penn State defeat No. 13 Lewis in five games on Friday. The libero also had a match-high 12 digs in a four-game loss to No. 12 Loyola on Saturday.
Gabe Woffindin, St. Francis — Woffindin finished with a match-high 16 digs as St. Francis upset No. 12 Loyola in five games on Friday.
Jon Wheaton, King — Wheaton had 12 kills on a .348 attack percentage and four blocks in a four-game victory against Limestone on Tuesday. He also added 11 kills while hitting .364 in a near upset versus first-place Pfeiffer on Thursday.
Caleb Bonaventure, Emmanuel — Bonaventure guided the Emmanuel offense to a .288 attack percentage while adding two aces and a match-high 50 assists in a four-game victory against North Greenville on Tuesday.
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State — DeFalco had a team-high 10 kills on a .474 attack percentage and added three aces to help No. 4/5 Long Beach State sweep No. 7/7 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. He also had a team-high 10 kills in a three-game loss to No. 2/3 UCLA on Saturday.
Davis Gillett, UCLA — Gillett finished with a match-high 15 digs as No. 2/3 UCLA defeated No. 11/10 CSUN in five games on Thursday. He also led all players with 11 digs in a sweep against No. 4/5 Long Beach State on Saturday.
Henri Cherry, UC Santa Barbara — Cherry had 10 kills on a .750 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 11/10 CSUN on Saturday. He also had seven kills and zero attack errors in a three-game loss to No. 4/5 Long Beach State on Wednesday.
Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i — van Tilburg led all players with a season-high 27 kills on a .479 attack percentage in a five-game comeback victory against No. 14 UC Irvine.