A nationwide voting committee selected four finalists for the 2016 Off the Block/Springback, Inc. National Server of the Year.
Off the Block announced Tuesday that Coker outside attacker Artur Cabral, CSUN outside attacker Dimitar Kalchev, UCLA setter Micah Ma’a and UC Irvine opposite Michael Saeta were named finalists for the national award.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year recognizes the top individual serving performance from a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player during the regular season.
Cabral finished the regular season second in the nation with a 0.60 aces per game average and had multiple aces in 10 matches. He also had a season-high seven aces in a win against North Greenville as Coker ended the year with one of its first winning seasons in program history.
Kalchev was third in the MPSF and eighth in the nation averaging 0.45 aces per game. In addition, Kalchev had at least four aces in five matches to help the Matadors almost earn their first postseason berth in four years.
Ma’a had a MPSF-best 54 aces and was fourth in the nation with a 0.51 aces per game average. The freshman also had 13 matches with multiple aces, including a season-high seven aces against CSUN in January, to help the Bruins earn the No. 2 seed for the MPSF Tournament.
Saeta led the MPSF and was third in the nation averaging 0.52 aces per game, while being one of four players to finish the regular season with at least 50 aces. He also had multiple aces in seven consecutive matches during the second-half of the season as the Anteaters made a late-season rally to earn a postseason berth.
The voting committee for this award was comprised of about 25 volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
This is the fourth year for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year award. Former Loyola All-American opposite Joseph Smalzer repeated as the winner in 2012 and 2013, while former Loyola All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke won the award last year.
The overall winner of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year will be announced Thursday, April 28.
Off the Block is a website that launched in 2011 and has become among the nation’s leading media outlets for college men’s volleyball news and analysis. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2016 National Server of the Year 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 SERVER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Artur Cabral, Coker
Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN
Micah Ma’a, UCLA
Michael Saeta, UC Irvine
Others receiving votes:
5. Aleksa Brkovic, Barton
6. Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
T-7. Miles Johnson, Ohio State
T-7. Jalen Penrose, Penn State
9. James Shaw, Stanford
T-10. TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
T-10. Ben Patch, BYU