A nationwide voting committee selected Lewis outside attacker Ryan Coenen, Lewis opposite Mitch Perinar and UC San Diego opposite Tanner Syftestad as finalist for the inaugural Flyer Award.
The Flyer Award, which is named in honor of the NCAA Division II powerhouse Lewis University, is presented to the best player in NCAA Division II men’s volleyball during the regular season.
While Division I and Division II schools compete for the same national championship and individual awards, this new honor is the only national player of the year award solely for Division II players.
Coenen finished the regular season among the nation’s leaders with a 3.20 kills per game average and a .295 attack percentage. The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team selection in three matches had more than 20 kills and a .350 attack percentage, including a match-high 22 kills while hitting .500 in a near upset five-game loss to No. 2/2 Ohio State in March.
Perinar led Lewis and was in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.26 kills per game average and had at least 15 kills in a 11 regular season matches. He also had a .308 attack percentage and helped Lewis end the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division II National Coaches Poll.
Syftestad was fifth in the nation with a 4.21 kills per game average — one of six players in the nation, and the only one from a Division II program, to end the regular season averaging more than 4.00 kills per game average. The senior also had seven matches with at least 20 kills, including a match-high 26 kills in an upset victory against USC in February.
The voting committee for the Flyer 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 Flyer Award. The winner of the Flyer Award and the total voting results will be announced Wednesday, April 26.
The Flyer Award is one of two new national awards that Off the Block will present this season. Off the Block also will debut the International Player of the Year for the top non-U.S. born player in Division I-II men’s volleyball.
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.
FLYER AWARD FINALISTS
Ryan Coenen, Lewis
Mitch Perinar, Lewis
Tanner Syftestad, UC San Diego