Ball State’s Szews earns second National Freshman of Week honor

A freshman who helped his team split two non-conference matches versus MPSF opponents is earning a national award for the second time this season.

Off the Block announced Monday that Ball State outside attacker Matt Szews was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.


Szews finished with a match-high 10 kills on a .304 attack percentage and added nine digs as No. 12/10 Ball State swept UC San Diego on Saturday. He also had a team-high 11 kills and two aces in a three-game loss to No. 6/6 UC Irvine on Friday.

This is the first time this season a player has been selected multiple times for the National Freshman of the Week. Szews also earned the award in February after helping lead Ball State to a conference sweep against McKendree.

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
Patrick Gasman, Hawai’i — Gasman had both a match-high six blocks and two aces as No. 4/4 Hawai’i defeated No. 8/8 Stanford in three games on Saturday to complete the two-match series sweep. The middle attacker also had five kills on a .500 attack percentage in the series opener on Friday.

Scott Stadick, UC Irvine — Stadick had three blocks as No. 6/6 UC Irvine upset No. 1/1 Ohio State on Saturday and ended the Buckeyes’ 42-match winning streak. The middle attacker also had seven kills and zero attack errors on a .467 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 12/10 Ball State on Friday.

Ryan Coenen, Lewis — Coenen had 15 kills on a .414 attack percentage and added nine digs in a four-game victory versus No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. He also contributed 10 kills and three blocks in a four-game loss to No. 7/7 UCLA on Wednesday.

Luke Allmond, NJIT — Allmond had five blocks and contributed three kills in a sweep against Princeton on Friday.

Erik Johnsson, Harvard — Johnsson had a match-high 12 kills and contributed three blocks in a non-conference sweep against Coker on Tuesday. He also had six kills and zero attack errors on a .500 attack percentage as Harvard lost to No. 7/7 UCLA in three games on Saturday.

Evan Cory, Lincoln Memorial — Cory had both a team-high 12 kills on a .423 attack percentage and seven digs in a three-game loss to Charleston on Saturday. He also had a match-high four aces in a four-game victory against Bryan on Tuesday.

Noah Dyer, Pepperdine — Dyer had a team-high 11 kills and added seven digs in a three-game loss to No. 3/3 BYU on Friday. He also had six kills in the series finale three-game loss on Saturday.

Keenan Sanders, UC Santa Barbara — Sanders finished with eight kills and zero attack errors on a .667 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 12 CSUN. The middle attacker also had four kills on a .444 attack percentage and two blocks in a non-conference loss to No. 5/5 Lewis.