Outside attacker TJ DeFalco for the second consecutive week is receiving a national award after leading No. 1/1 Long Beach State to a victory against a top-10 nationally ranked team.
Off the Block announced Monday that DeFalco was named the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.
DeFalco finished with a match-high 21 kills on a .410 attack percentage as Long Beach State on the road defeated No. 6/5 Penn State in four games on Saturday. The outside attacker also led the 49ers with 10 digs and added six blocks in the non-conference victory.
This is the fourth time this season that DeFalco has been named the National Freshman of the Week. In addition, DeFalco joins USC outside attacker Lucas Yoder as the only players in the three-year history of this award to win it in back-to-back weeks.
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
Adam Wessel — Wessel had a match-high 16 digs in a five-game conference victory against Grand Canyon on Friday. He also led all players with 13 digs as No. 8/7 Ball State lost the two-match series finale against Grand Canyon in five games on Saturday.
Mitch Perinar, Lewis — Perinar had a match-high 21 kills on a .472 attack percentage and added seven digs as No. 13 Lewis lost to No. 5/6 Ohio State in four games on Saturday.
Chris Wise, NJIT — Wise had a match-high 14 digs as NJIT lost to George Mason in five games on Friday. He also had a season-high 15 digs in a four-game non-conference loss to McKendree on Saturday.
Trevor Dow, Harvard — Dow finished with seven kills on a .667 attack percentage and added three blocks as Harvard swept Sacred Heart on Saturday to remain in second place in the EIVA.
Aleska Brkovic, Barton — Brkovic had 13 kills and a team-high two aces to help Barton upset first-place Erskine in five games on Thursday. The outside attacker also had 16 kills on a .500 attack percentage in a four-game victory against Limestone on Saturday.
Joao Victor Santos, Coker — Santos led all players with 15 kills on a .458 attack percentage as Coker swept Alderson Broaddus on Saturday. He also had 15 kills and a team-high nine digs in a four-game loss to Erskine on Friday.
Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN — Kalchev had 16 kills, two aces and a season-high 10 digs to help No. 12 CSUN beat No. 6/5 Penn State in four games on Friday. He also had six kills on a .455 attack percentage in a sweep against Mount Olive on Saturday.
Micah Ma’a, UCLA — Ma’a had 12 kills and guided the offense to a .328 attack percentage as No. 4/4 UCLA defeated No. 9/7 UC Santa Barbara in four games to open their home-and-home series on Wednesday. The setter also had five kills and 10 digs in a road sweep against the Gauchos on Friday.
David Wieczorek, Pepperdine — Wieczorek led Pepperdine with a season-high 19 kills on a .485 attack percentage in a five-game victory against UC San Diego on Thursday.
Ryan Blaich, UC San Diego — Blaich had a season-high 61 assists and guided the offense to a .306 attack percentage in a near upset against No. 10/10 Pepperdine. He also had 49 assists and a season-high 10 digs in another near upset versus No. 14 UC Irvine on Saturday.
Dante Chakravorti, UC irvine — Chakravorti guided the UC Irvine offense to a .405 attack percentage and added seven kills in a sweep against UC San Diego on Friday. He also had 57 assists and three blocks in a five-game victory versus UC San Diego on Saturday.