Barton opposite Mandilaris named National Freshman of Week

A freshman who led his team to a victory against its biggest rival is earning a national award for the first time in his college career.

Off the Block announced on Monday that Barton opposite Angelos Mandilaris was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.


Mandilaris finished with a match-high 16 kills on a .414 attack percentage and added eight digs as Barton defeated its conference rival Mount Olive in four games on Wednesday. He also led all players with both 11 kills and 11 digs while adding three aces in a sweep non-conference versus Coker on Friday.

This is the first time in the four-year history of the award that a Barton player has been the National Freshman of the Week.

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
Matt Szews, Ball State — Szews had a match-high 16 kills on a .577 attack percentage and a season-high four aces in a sweep against Quincy on Saturday. He also had both a team-high 10 kills and two aces to help No. 12 Ball State beat Lindenwood in four games on Friday.

Scott Stadick, UC Irvine — Stadick had a seven kills on a .556 attack percentage and a team-high three kills to help No. 7/8 UC Irvine beat No. 6/6 UCLA in five games on Friday. The middle attacker also had 13 kills while hitting .500 and a match-high eight blocks in a five-game victory versus No. 13 UC Santa Barbara.

Daenan Gyimah, UCLA — Gyimah finished with seven kills on a .500 attack percentage and a match-high five blocks in a five-game loss to No. 7/8 UC Irvine on Friday. In addition, Gyimah had nine kills on a .667 attack percentage along with five blocks in a four-game victory against UC San Diego.

Pelegrin Vargas, Fort Wayne — Vargas led all players with a season-high 22 kills on a .341 attack percentage and added 10 digs in a five-game victory against Quincy.

Ryan Coenen, Lewis — Coenen had 13 kills on a .417 attack percentage along with five digs and four blocks in a five-game victory against No. 9/7 Loyola on Friday.

Sam Schindler, Lindenwood — Schindler had 13 kills on a .524 attack percentage and a team-high two aces in a five-game victory against Fort Wayne on Saturday. He also had seven kills in a four-game loss to No. 12 Ball State.

George Huhmann, Princeton — Huhmann had a match-high seven blocks and added 12 kills on a .476 attack percentage as Princeton defeated Harvard in five games on Friday. He also had seven kills on a .429 attack percentage along with five blocks in a four-game loss to Sacred Heart on Saturday.

Michael Fisher, St. Francis — Fisher finished with a team-high 15 kills while contributing five digs and four blocks in a five-game victory against George Mason on Saturday. He also had nine kills on a .500 attack percentage and six digs in a sweep versus Charleston on Friday.

Erik Johnsson, Harvard — Johnsson had a team-high 11 kills on a .429 attack percentage and two aces as Harvard swept NJIT on Saturday. He also had 10 kills and seven digs in a five-game loss to Princeton on Friday.

Luke Braswell, Penn State — Braswell had 41 assists and guided the offense to a .376 attack percentage in a four-game victory against George Mason on Friday. The setter also helped Penn State hit .386 in a sweep against Charleston on Saturday.

Reto Pfund, Lees-McRae — Pfund had 37 assists and guided the offense to a .297 attack percentage while adding five digs in a sweep versus North Greenville on Saturday. He also had 38 assists and a match-high three aces in a five-game loss to Limestone on Wednesday.

Isaac Lanier, Erskine — Lanier had a match-high 17 kills on a .406 attack percentage and added eight digs in a sweep against Belmont Abbey on Thursday. He also had a team-high 13 kills and contributed two aces to help Erskine sweep Pfeiffer on Saturday.