Two freshmen who helped lead their teams to critical late-season conference victories are now earning a national award for the first time in their college careers.
Off the Block announced Monday that Long Beach State outside attacker Kyle Ensing and UC Santa Barbara middle attacker Henri Cherry were named the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Co-National Freshman of the Week.
Ensing led all players with a season-high 27 kills on a .460 attack percentage and added 10 digs as No. 5/5 Long Beach State defeated No. 6/6 Pepperdine in a fifth-game overtime on Thursday. He also had 16 kills in a four-game loss to No. 5/5 Stanford on Saturday.
Cherry had 11 kills on a .714 attack percentage and a match-high nine blocks in a four-game victory against No. 8/7 Hawai’i on Friday. He also had nine kills and zero attack errors in the series-finale sweep versus Hawai’i on Saturday.
This is the first time that both Ensing and Cherry have been selected as the National Freshman of the Week. In addition, Ensing becomes the third Long Beach State player to receive the weekly national award this season.
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
Collin Mahan, Loyola — Mahan had a combined 21 kills in a two-match series split against Grand Canyon, including a season-high 14 kills on a .528 attack percentage in the series finale on Saturday. He also had 10 kills in a five-game victory against No. 13 Lewis on Tuesday.
Julian Moses, Lewis — Moses finished with a team-high 14 kills and added nine digs and six blocks in a five-game loss to No. 12 Loyola on Tuesday.
Michael Keegan, IPFW — Keegan guided the IPFW offense to a .333 attack percentage and had three blocks in a road sweep against Lindenwood on Friday. The setter also had 49 assists as IPFW hit .241 in a five-game loss to Quincy on Saturday.
Trevor Dow, Harvard — Dow had a season-high five aces and added two blocks in a four-game victory against Charleston on Friday.
Gave Woffindin, St. Francis — Woffindin had a match-high 16 digs in a five-game loss against NJIT on Friday. He also added four digs as No. 15 St. Francis defeated Princeton in five games on Saturday.
Aleksander Brkovic, Barton — Brkovic had a combined 27 kills in three conference sweeps last week to help Barton move into second place in the Conference Carolinas. He also had a match-high four aces in the sweep against Emmanuel on Friday.
Joao Victor Santos, Coker — Santos finished with a team-high 23 kills on a .340 attack percentage and added three aces as Coker defeated King in five games on Saturday.
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State — DeFalco finished with 26 kills and a match-high 11 blocks to help No. 5/5 Long Beach State beat No. 6/6 Pepperdine in a fifth-game overtime on Thursday. He also had a match-high 20 kills in a four-game loss to No. 5/5 Stanford on Saturday.
Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State — Tuaniga guided the Long Beach State offense to a .368 attack percentage and had 63 assists along with six kills and two aces in a five-game victory against No. 6/6 Pepperdine on Thursday. The setter also helped Long Beach State hit .321 in a four-game loss to No. 5/5 Stanford on Saturday.
Jordan Ewert, Stanford — Ewert finished with 11 kills on a .429 attack percentage to help No. 4/4 Stanford beat No. 5/5 Long Beach State in four games on Saturday. He also had nine kills and five blocks in a four-game victory against No. 10 CSUN on Wednesday.
Arturo Iglesias, Cal Baptist — Iglesias guided the Cal Baptist offense to a .313 attack percentage and had 30 assists in an upset sweep against No. 14 Cal Baptist on Wednesday. He also helped Cal Baptist hit .378 in a sweep against UC San Diego on Saturday.