Make it at least two national awards this season for Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen.
Off the Block announced Thursday that a nationwide voting committee selected Szerszen as the 2017 recipient of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year.
The National Server of the Year is an annual award that started in 2013 and recognizes the top individual serving performance from a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player during the regular season.
Szerszen in the regular season led the nation with both 66 aces and a 0.65 aces per game average. The 2017 International Player of the Year recipient also had multiple aces in 13 regular season matches against nationally ranked teams as No. 2/2 Ohio State won the MIVA regular season championship.
Among Szerszen’s top serving performances of the season featured a season-high six aces in a sweep against No. 9/9 Stanford in January and five aces in a sweep versus No. 11 Ball State in February. In addition, Szerszen had a combined four aces in three postseason matches as the Buckeyes won the MIVA Tournament to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The voting committee for the National Server 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 Server of the Year.
Szerszen received 49 votes to beat the runner-up CSUN outside attacker Dimitar Kalchev by 16 votes. The other finalist UC Irvine setter Michael Saeta finished in third place with 26 votes.
Szerszen, Kalchev and Saeta were the only players in the nation to receive more than five votes.
This is the fifth year that Off the Block and Springbak, Inc. have presented the National Server of the Year. Previous winners of the award include former Loyola All-American opposite Joseph Smalzer in 2013 and 2014, former Loyla All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke in 2015 and UCLA All-American setter Micah Ma’a 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 Server 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 SERVER OF THE YEAR (voting results)
1. Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State — 49 votes
2. Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN — 33 votes
3. Michael Saeta, UC Irvine — 26 votes
4. Robert Poole, Mount Olive — 4 votes
5. Aleksa Brkovic, Barton — 3 votes
T-6. Nick Drooker, King — 2 votes
T-6. Jake Langlois, BYU — 2 votes
T-6. Mitch Stahl, UCLA — 2 votes
T-6. Matt Szews, Ball State — 2 votes
10. Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis — 1 vote