Ball State, LBSU, Loyola middles named National Blocker of Year finalists

A nationwide voting committee selected Loyola middle attacker Jeff Jendryk, Long Beach State middle attacker Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Ball State middle attacker Matt Walsh as finalists for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year is an annual award that started in 2011 and recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player with the best front-row defense performance during the regular season.

Jendryk ended the regular season with a nation-best 120 blocks and was sixth in the nation averaging 1.19 blocks per game. The All-MIVA selection also had at least five blocks in 15 regular season matches, including a season-high 10 blocks in a sweep against No. 11 Ball State in February.

Lugo-Rodriguez was second in the nation with a 1.26 blocks per game average and led the MPSF with 113 blocks.The All-MPSF senior had 10 regular season matches with at least five blocks as he helped No. 1/1 Long Beach State win a share of the MPSF regular season title.

Walsh, a finalist for the 2015 National Blocker of the Year, was third in the nation averaging 1.21 blocks per game and second in the nation with 116 blocks. The All-MIVA selection ended the regular season having at least five blocks in 11 matches, including a season-high 12 blocks in a sweep against No. 14 Grand Canyon in March.

Jendryk, Lugo-Rodriguez and Walsh on Thursday also were all named finalists for the Ryan Millar Award that is presented to the nation’s top middle attacker.

The voting committee for the National Blocker of the Year was comprised of about 25 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation.

The top three vote-getters were named finalists for the National Blocker of the Year. The overall winner and voting results of the National Blocker of the Year will be announced Monday, April 24.

This is the sixth year that Off the Block has presented the National Blocker of the Year. Previous winners include former BYU All-American middle attacker Futi Tavana in 2011, former USC middle attacker Robert Feathers in 2012, former UC Santa Barbara All-American middle attacker Dylan Davis in 2013, former Lewis All-American middle attacker Bobby Walsh in 2015 and middle attacker Tommy Carmody with Pacific in 2014 and Pepperdine in 2016.

Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2017 National Blocker of the Year 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.

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. NATIONAL BLOCKER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
(listed alphabetically)
Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, Long Beach State
Matt Walsh, Ball State