Erskine outside Lanier named National Freshman of Week

A freshman who had back-to-back matches with at least 20 kills is the recipient of a national award for the first time in his college career.

Off the Block announced Monday that Erskine outside attacker Isaac Lanier was selected as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week.


Lanier led all players with 20 kills and had a season-high 14 digs in a four-game conference loss to North Greenville on Tuesday. He also finished with both a season-high 22 kills and five blocks as Erskine lost to Limestone in five games on Saturday.

This is the third time in the four-year history of the award that an Erskine player has earned the weekly honor. In addition, Lanier joins Barton opposite Angelos Mandilaris as the only Conference Carolinas players to win the 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 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 led No. 11/10 Ball State with a combined 35 kills in a two-match series split against Grand Canyon last week, including a season-high 23 kills in the series-finale loss on Thursday. He also had 12 kills and a season-high 11 digs in a sweep to open the conference series on Wednesday.

Sam Greenslade, George Mason — Greenslade finished with a season-high five aces along with having nine kills and no attack errors to hit .692 in a sweep against McKendree on Friday. He also had 10 kills and contributed both a team-high four blocks and two aces as George Mason defeated Coker in four games on Saturday.

Sam Schindler, Lindenwood — Schindler had five blocks and added five kills as Lindenwood upset No. 8/9 Loyola on Saturday. He also had a match-high two aces along with nine kills and three blocks in a four-game loss to No. 5/5 Lewis on Friday.

Calvin Mende, Penn State — Mende had a match-high 15 kills on a .323 attack percentage along with six blocks and six digs as No. 15 Penn State defeated No. 13 UC Santa Barbara in four games.

George Huhmann, Princeton — Huhmann led all players with five blocks and added seven kills in a sweep against Charleston on Friday. The middle attacker also had nine kills on a .467 attack percentage in a five-game victory versus Charleston on Saturday to help Princeton complete the series sweep.

Angelos Mandilaris, Barton — Mandilaris had 10 kills on a .444 attack percentage and added two aces along with four blocks in a sweep against Pfeiffer on Friday. He also had a match-high 12 kills while hitting .500 in a sweep versus Belmont Abbey on Saturday.

Scott Stadick, UC Irvine — Stadick had a team-high five blocks and added seven kills in a four-game loss to No. 2/2 Long Beach State on Wednesday. The middle attacker also contributed nine kills and three blocks in a five-game road victory versus No. 12 CSUN on Friday.

Eric Beatty, Stanford — Beatty finished with both a match-high seven digs and four blocks while adding eight kills in a non-conference sweep against No. 15 Penn State on Saturday. He also had a match-high 10 kills in a four-game victory versus Lees-McRae on Friday.

Keenan Sanders, UC Santa Barbara — Sanders had both a match-high five aces and 11 kills on a .562 attack percentage as No. 13 UC Santa Barbara swept Lees-McRae on Saturday. The middle attacker also had nine kills and hit .467 in a four-game loss to No. 15 Penn State on Friday.

Kyle Bugee, Lewis — Bugee finished with a match-high 13 kills on a .571 attack percentage in a sweep against Quincy on Saturday.