A nationwide voting committee selected Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco, BYU outside attacker Jake Langlois and Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen as finalists for the annual Karch Kiraly Award.
The Karch Kiraly Award, which is named after the former UCLA All-American and U.S. Olympian, is presented to the nation’s best outside attacker in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.
DeFalco, the runner-up for the 2016 Karch Kiraly Award, ended the regular season sixth in the nation averring a 4.10 kills per game and in the nation’s top 10 with a .400 attack percentage. The 2017 MPSF Player of the Year also had double-digit kills in all but two matches as he helped No. 1/1 Long Beach State win a share of the MPSF regular season title.
Langlois was in the nation’s top 15 with both a 3.86 kills per game average and a .356 attack percentage, including having double-digit kills in all but three regular season matches thst he started. In addition, Langlois was seventh in the nation averaging 0.56 aces per game as he helped lead BYU to a share of the MPSF regular season title.
Szerszen, the 2017 MIVA Player of the Year, was among the nation’s leaders with a 3.74 kills per game average and a .389 attack percentage. The 2016 recipient of the Karch Kiraly Award also had a nation-best 0.65 aces per game average and multiple aces in 13 regular season matches against nationally ranked teams as No. 2/2 Ohio State won the MIVA regular season championship.
The voting committee for the Karch Kiraly Award was comprised of about 25 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The top three vote-getters were named finalists for the Karch Kiraly Award. The winner of the Karch Kiraly Award and the total voting results will be announced Wednesday, April 26.
This is the third year that Off the Block has presented the Karch Kiraly Award. Previous winners of the award include former Penn State All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell in 2015.
The Karch Kiraly is one of several end of season awards presented by Off the Block. Among the other national awards includes the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, the Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero and the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker.
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.
KARCH KIRALY AWARD FINALISTS
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Jake Langlois, BYU
Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State