Long Beach middle Lugo-Rodriguez named 2017 National Blocker of Year

Middle attacker Amir Lugo-Rodriguez in a span of two years went from transferring to Long Beach State and redshirting an entire season to now winning a top national award for his blocking.

Off the Block announced Monday that a nationwide voting committee selected Lugo-Rodriguez as the 2017 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.

Lugo-Rodriguez finished the regular season 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 No. 1/1 Long Beach State win a share of the MPSF regular season title.

He also had a combined 18 blocks in three postseason matches to help the 49ers win the MPSF Tournament and earn a berth to the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

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.

Lugo-Rodriguez earned 67 votes to beat the runner-up Ball State middle attacker Matt Walsh by 32 votes. In addition, the other finalist Loyola middle attacker Jeff Jendryk finished in third place with 24 votes.

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.

2017 OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. NATIONAL BLOCKER OF THE YEAR (voting results)
1. Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, Long Beach State — 67 votes
2. Matt Walsh, Ball State — 35 votes
3. Jeff Jendryk, Loyola — 24 votes
T-4. Maxime Hervoir, Ohio State — 6 votes
T-4. Scott Stadick, UC Irvine — 6 votes
6. Myles Miller, Alderson Broaddus — 3 votes
T-7. Connor Hipelius, Lindenwood — 2 votes
T-7. Mitch Stahl, UCLA — 2 votes
T-9. Taylor Bloomquist, Sacred Heart — 1 vote
T-9. Mitch Penning, Pepperdine — 1 vote