A freshman is earning the first national award in his college career after helping St. Francis get a non-conference win and almost upset a top-five nationally ranked team.
Off the Block announced Monday that St. Francis outside attacker Michael Fisher was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.
Fisher finished with a match-high 22 kills on a .357 attack percentage and added five digs in a four-game loss to No. 4/4 Long Beach State on Friday. He also led all players with 12 kills and had a season-high three aces as St. Francis swept Barton on Saturday.
This is the second time in the four-year history of the award that a Red Flash has earned National Freshman of the Week honors. Libero Gabe Woffindin earned the weekly award last year following St. Francis’ upset against Penn State in the regular 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 the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2017 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.
National Freshman of the Week honorable mentions
Daenan Gyimah, UCLA — Gyimah had a match-high 12 kills on a .647 attack percentage and had two blocks in a sweep against No. 11 UC Santa Barbara on Friday to conclude the home-and-home conference series. He also had eight kills on a .467 attack percentage and four blocks in the series opener on Wednesday.
Ryan Lew, UC San Diego — Lew had a season-high 20 digs to help UC San Diego beat Hope International in five games on Saturday.
Matt Szews, Ball State — Szews had a team-high 11 kills on a .400 attack percentage and two aces in a four-game victory against NJIT on Friday. He also added nine kills and a team-high nice aces in a four-game win versus No. 12 George Mason on Thursday.
Pelegrin Vargas, Fort Wayne — Vargas finished with both a team-high nine kills on a .368 attack percentage and seven digs in a sweep against No. 12 George Mason on Friday. In addition, Vargas led Fort Wayne with 13 kills and added six digs in a sweep versus NJIT on Saturday.
Sam Schindler, Lindenwood — Schindler had a match-high eight blocks and added 10 kills in a four-game loss to McKendree on Wednesday. The middle attacker also had a season-high 16 kills on a .367 attack percentage in a four-game loss to Quincy on Saturday.
Calvin Mende, Penn State — Mende had a 12 kills on a .476 attack percentage along with two aces and a match-high nine digs in a four-game victory against Coker on Saturday. He also had five kills on a .400 attack percentage to help No. 14 Penn State sweep Mount Olive on Friday.
Don Thompson, Emmanuel — Thompson had a season-high 12 kills on a .550 attack percentage in a four-game loss to first-place Limestone on Wednesday. He also had nine kills while hitting .333 as Emmanuel to lost to North Greenville in five games on Saturday.
Wes Rogman, Lees-McRae — Rogman finished with both a season-high 15 kills and 11 digs as Lees-McRae lost to Lincoln Memorial in five games on Friday. He also had 11 kills in a four-game loss versus King on Wednesday.
Evan Cory, Lincoln Memorial — Cory had a season-high 14 kills and added eight digs to help the first-year program beat Lees-McRae in five games on Friday. He also had seven kills and zero attack errors in a sweep against Bluefield College on Wednesday.
Luca Berger, Coker — Berger finished with a season-high nine kills on a .467 attack percentage in a four-game road loss to No. 14 Penn State on Saturday.
Scott Stadick, UC Irvine — Stadick had a match-high eight blocks along with nine kills on a .436 attack percentage in a five-game road conference victory against No. 3/3 BYU on Friday.