Long Beach State outside DeFalco wins 2017 Karch Kiraly Award

Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco now has the top national award for his position to go along with his MPSF Player of the Year award.

Off the Block announced Wednesday that a nationwide voting committee selected DeFalco as the recipient of the 2017 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 ended the regular season sixth in the nation averaging 4.10 kills per game and in the nation’s top 10 with a .400 attack percentage. The sophomore and two-time finalist for the Karch Kiraly Award 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.

Among DeFalco’s top performances of the season included having both a season-high 25 kills on a .340 attack percentage and 14 digs in a five-game match against No. 3/3 BYU in March. In addition, DeFalco had a combined 34 kills and 18 digs in three postseason matches as the 49ers won the MPSF Tournament to earn a NCAA Tournament berth.

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.

DeFalco received 52 votes to beat the runner-up Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen by eight votes. The other finalist BYU outside attacker Jake Langlois finished in third place with 13 votes.

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 and Szerszen in 2016.

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 (voting results)
1. TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State — 52 votes
2. Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State — 44 votes
3. Jake Langlois, BYU — 13 votes
4. Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT — 9 votes
5. Lucas Yoder, USC — 5 votes
6. Matt Szews, Ball State — 2 votes
T-7. Jacob Delson, UC Santa Barbara — 1 vote
T-7. Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine — 1 vote