A nationwide voting committee selected 21 players to the 2017 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams.
The annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season.
The four NCAA Tournament semifinalists from last season — BYU, Long Beach State, Ohio State and UCLA — had a combined 14 players make a Preseason All-American Team.
BYU and Long Beach State led all teams in the nation with each having four Preseason All-Americans. In addition, UCLA and the defending-NCAA champions Ohio State each had three players selected as Preseason All-Americans.
Along with these schools, George Mason, Lewis, Loyola, NJIT, Penn State, Stanford and UC Irvine all had one player receive Preseason All-American honors.
Players eligible for the Preseason All-American Teams had to be on an active roster of a Division I-II men’s volleyball team.
The 26-member voting committee for these preseason honors was comprised of men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The 10 players receiving the most votes were named Preseason First-Team All-Americans, while the next top 10 vote-getters were selected as Preseason Second-Team All-Americans. A tie for the final spot resulted in the second-team having an additional member.
Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen and Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco along with earning First-Team Preseason All-American honors each received the most votes of any player in the nation. To view the complete voting results, click here.
This is the sixth consecutive season that Off the Block has presented the men’s volleyball Division I-II Preseason All-American Teams. Off the Block is the only volleyball organization to present men’s volleyball Preseason All-American Teams.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2017 Preseason All-American Teams. Springbak, Inc. produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.
The NCAA men’s volleyball season begins in January and concludes with the six-team NCAA Tournament in May at Ohio State.
OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Micha Ma’a, UCLA
Setter: Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State
Opposite: Miles Johnson, Ohio State
Opposite: Ben Patch, BYU
Outside attacker: TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Brenden Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Middle attacker: Mitch Stahl, UCLA
Libero: Evan Enriques, Stanford
OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Christy Blough, Ohio State
Opposite: Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
Opposite: Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT
Opposite: Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine
Opposite: Mitch Perinar, Lewis
Outside attacker: Jake Arnitz, UCLA
Outside attacker: Jake Langlois, BYU
Outside attacker: Chris Nugent, Penn State
Middle attacker: Price Jarman, BYU
Libero: Johnny Gomez, George Mason
Libero: Andrew Sato, Long Beach State
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES ON TWO OR MORE BALLOTS
Leo Durkin, BYU
Enrique de Diego Garcia, Cal Baptist
Gabriel Domecus, Ohio State
Michael Saeta, UC Irvine
Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i
Blake Leeson, Ohio State
Brian Negron, George Mason
Jack Wilson, George Mason
Artur Cabral, Coker
Royce Clemens, Penn State
Kupono Fey, Hawai’i
Federico Pagliara, Barton
David Wiecsoreck, Pepperdine
Aleksa Brkovic, Barton
Ricky Gevis, Loyola
Davis Gillett, UCLA
Roberto Perez, Erskine
Joao Victor Santos, Coker
Jacob Schmiegelt, Lewis
Scott Stadick, UC Irvine
Matt Walsh, Ball State
Ackeem West, Emmanuel
Kekaulike Alameda, Barton
Andy Benesh, USC
Matt Callaway, Penn State
Jordan Ewert, Stanford
Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton
Brendan Schmidt, McKendree
PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State outside attacker
DeFalco led all freshmen and was in the nation’s top five with a 4.32 kills per game average last season. Along with being an Off the Block/Springbak Freshman All-American and First-Team All-American selection, DeFalco was named the 2016 AVCA Newcomer of the Year as he helped lead Long Beach State to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Evan Enriques, Stanford libero
Enriques was in the nation’s top 15 and had a MPSF-best 2.53 digs per game average last season. The First-Team All-American and recipient of the 2016 Erik Shoji Award for the nation’s top libero helped the Cardinal end the regular season in the top four of the MPSF and almost earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Jeff Jendryk, Loyola middle attacker
Jendryk ended last season in the nation’s top five with a .431 attack percentage and was among the national leaders with 101 blocks. The Second-Team All-American also was a Ryan Millar Award finalist for the nation’s top middle attacker as he helped the Ramblers reach the MIVA Tournament semifinals.
Miles Johnson, Ohio State opposite
Johnson was in the nation’s top 15 with a both 3.72 kills per game average and a 0.39 aces per game average last season. He also earned First-Team All-American honors as he helped the Buckeyes to their second NCAA championship in the last six years.
Micah Ma’a, UCLA setter
Ma’a running UCLA’s 6-2 offense guided the team during the regular season to the nation’s sixth best attack percentage at .309 and had double-digit kills in nine matches. As a freshman last season, he was an Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American, an AVCA First-Team All-American and a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year as he helped lead UCLA to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Ben Patch, BYU opposite
Patch returning to the court last season from two-year church mission led the MPSF and was in the nation’s top five with a 4.32 kills per game average and was among the national leaders with a .379 attack percentage. The First-Team All-American also was the MPSF Player of the Year and won the Bryan Ivie Award for the nation’s top opposite as he led the Cougars to the MPSF championship and the NCAA Tournament finals.
Brenden Sander, BYU outside attacker
Sander was in the nation’s top 10 last season with a .395 attack percentage and was among the national leaders with a 3.19 kills per game average. He also earned First-Team All-American honors as he helped the Cougars win the MPSF and advance to the NCAA Tournament finals.
Mitch Stahl, UCLA middle attacker
Stahl finished last season sixth in the nation with a 1.19 blocks per game average and had a .455 attack percentage during the regular season. The Second-Team All-American was a finalist for the Ryan Millar Award that is presented to the nation’s top middle attacker and helped lead UCLA to its first NCAA Tournament berth in almost a decade.
Nicholas Szerszen, Ohio State outside attacker
Szerszen ended last season in the nation’s top 15 with both a 4.31 kills per game average and a .390 attack percentage, while also being second in the nation with 63 aces. In addition, Szerszen won the AVCA National Player of the Year, the Karch Kiraly Award for the nation’s top outside attacker and the MIVA Player of the Year as he led Ohio State to its second national championship in program history.
Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State setter
Tuaniga finished the 2016 regular season leading the MPSF and third in the nation with an 11.12 assists per game average. The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American also guided the 49ers’ offense in the regular season to the nation’s fourth best attack percentage at .331 and helped Long Beach State advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS
Jake Arnitz, UCLA outside attacker
Arnitz led UCLA and was among the national leaders last season with a 3.31 kills per game average on a .313 attack percentage. The Second-Team All-American also helped the Bruins reach the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Christy Blough, Ohio State setter
Blough was second in the nation with an 11.21 assists per game average last season and guided the Buckeyes to the nation’s second-best attack percentage at .350. He also earned Second-Team All-American honors as Ohio State won the 2016 NCAA championship.
Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State opposite
Ensing ended the 2016 regular season among the nation’s freshmen leaders with a 3.09 kills per game average and was in the nation’s top 40 with a 1.90 digs per game average. The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American selection also helped Long Beach State advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT opposite
Goodridge led the EIVA and was third in the nation last season with a 4.38 kills per game average. The 2016 Co-EIVA Player of the Year is the first NJIT player to earn Preseason All-American honors and helped the Highlanders end last season in fifth place in the EIVA.
Johnny Gomez, George Mason libero
Gomez had a nation-best 3.03 digs per game average last season. He also earned All-EIVA honors as he helped George Mason win the EIVA championship and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost 30 years.
Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine opposite
Hershko despite missing the majority of last season with an injury still led the Anteaters with a 3.71 kills per average and added a 1.93 digs per game average. The 2015 First-Team All-American also was able to return to the court late in the season to help UC Irvine earn the final berth to the MPSF Tournament.
Price Jarman, BYU middle attacker
Jarman ended last season fourth in the nation with a 1.31 blocks per game average. The All-MPSF selection also helped the Cougars win the 2016 MPSF championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament finals.
Jake Langlois, BYU outside attacker
Langlois last season had a .311 attack percentage and added a 2.99 kills per game average. The Second-Team All-American also helped the Cougars win the MPSF championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament finals.
Chris Nugent, Penn State outside attacker
Nugent finished last season int he nation’s top 15 with a 3.84 kills per game average and had a .309 attack percentage. The 2016 Co-EIVA Player of the Year also helped the Nittany Lions win the conference regular season championship.
Mitch Perinar, Lewis opposite
Perinar finished the 2016 regular season among the MIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 50 with a 3.03 kills per game average while hitting more than .300. In addition, Perinar was the MIVA Freshman of the Year and an Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American as he helped Lewis advance to the MIVA Tournament finals last season.
Andrew Sato, Long Beach State libero
Sato was among the MPSF leaders last season with a 1.91 digs per game average. He also was an All-American honorable mention as he helped the 49ers earn an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament.