Ohio State outside Szerszen named International Player of Year

Add an international honor to the award-laden college career of Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen.

Off the Block announced Tuesday that a nationwide voting committee selected Szerszen as the inaugural recipient of the International Player of the Year.

The International Player of the Year is presented to the best non-U.S. born player in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.

Szerszen, a native of Conflans Ste Hne, France, ended the regular season among the nation’s leaders with a 3.74 kills per game average and a .389 attack percentage. The 2017 MIVA Player of the Year 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.

Along with his regular season performance, Szerszen had a combined 36 kills in three postseason matches to help the Buckeyes win the MIVA Tournament and earn the No. 1 overall seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

This is the first national award in the recent history of college men’s volleyball recognizing the outstanding individual performances of international players who are pursuing their volleyball career and higher education in the United States. Players from countries around the world have significantly contributed throughout the history college men’s volleyball helping teams win NCAA champions and earning numerous All-American honors.

The voting committee for the International Player of the Year 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 International Player of the Year

Szerszen received 52 votes — nine more votes than the runner-up Hawai’i opposite Stijn van Tilburg. The other finalist NJIT outside attacker Jabarry Goodridge finished in third place with 12 votes.

The International Player of the Year is one of two new national awards that Off the Block will present this season. Off the Block also will debut the Flyer Award for the nation’s best player from a NCAA Division II team during the regular season.

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.

2017 INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR (voting results)
1. Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State (France) — 52 votes
2. Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i (The Netherlands) — 43 votes
3. Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT (Barbados) — 12 votes
4. Daenan Gyimah, UCLA (Canada) — 10 votes
5. Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN (Bulgaria) — 7 votes
6. Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine (Israel) — 3 votes
T-7. Federico Pagliara, Barton (Italy) — 2 votes
T-7. Robert Poole, Mount Olive (England) — 2 votes
T-9. Aleksa Brkovic, Barton (Serbia) — 1 vote
T-9. Thomas Hodges, UC Irvine (Australia) — 1 vote