Finalists announced for 2017 OTB/Springbak National Player of Offseason

The time has come to determine what college men’s volleyball player had the best offseason performance after numerous players spent the summer competing in national and international tournaments.

Off the Block on Monday announced the 10 finalists for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Player of the Offseason, and it will now be up to the fans to determine the winner of this new award.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Player of the Offseason recognizes the best individual performances from current NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players during the offseason at international tournaments and beach volleyball events. In addition, fans from around the world will have a chance to determine who was the best player though online voting on the Off the Block website.

The online poll is now open and closes at 10 p.m. (CST) Thursday.

Long Beach State led all schools with two finalists for the Player of the Offseason. Barton, BYU, Hawai’i, Lincoln Memorial Loyola, Stanford, UC Irvine and UCLA each had one finalist for this national award.

This is the only offseason award presented in college men’s volleyball. It also is one of three college men’s volleyball awards solely determined by the fans.

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Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the National Player of the Offseason. Springbak, Inc. 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.

Check out the finalists below for the 2017 National Player of the Offseason. Individuals can vote using the poll below or by visiting offtheblockblog.com/PlayerOfOffseason.

National Player of the Offseason finalists

Evan Cory, Lincoln Memorial
Tournaments played in this offseason:
AVP New York City Open
Cory competing as an amateur at the professional beach volleyball event advanced to the third round of the four-round qualification tournament. Among the victories at the New York Open for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. All-IVA Team selection included rallying from a one-game deficit to win its second-round match against Mark Van Zwieten and Steve Van Zwieten.

TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Tournaments played in this offseason:
FIVB World League
DeFalco in his FIVB World League debut finished the tournament with five aces and 47 kills on a .224 attack percentage as he helped the United States reach the Group 1 Finals. Among the 2017 AVCA National Player of the Year’s top performances in the international tournament featured nine kills and a team-high two aces in a five-game loss to Russia.

Evan Enriques, Stanford
Tournaments played in this offseason:
World University Games
Enriques was fourth at the World University Games with a 1.96 digs per game average as the United States finished the tournament in 17th place. The 2016 Erik Shoji Award recipient also had double-digit digs in the final two matches to help the United States defeat both Australia and Latvia.

Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
Tournaments played in this offseason:
FIVB U21 World Championship, Pan American Cup, World University Games
Ensing finished the FIVB U21 World Championship among the tournament leaders with both 90 kills and a 45.69 percent offensive efficiency. The All-American opposite had two matches with at least 20 kills as the United States ended the tournament in 14th place. Along with his World Championship performance, Ensing was in the top 10 at the Pan American Cup with a 48.42 percent offensive efficiency and helped the United States earn a fifth-place finish. He also had a match-high 19 kills to help the United States beat Australia in the 17th-place semifinals at the World University Games.


Gabriel Garcia, BYU
Tournaments played in this offseason:
FIVB U19 World Championship
Garcia led Puerto Rico and was sixth among all players at the FIVB U19 World Championship with 124 kills. The BYU incoming freshman opposite also had three matches with at least 20 kills, including a match-high 26 kills in a four-game victory against the United States in the 13th-place semifinals.

Deanan Gyimah, UCLA
Tournaments this offseason:
FIVB U21 World Championship
Gyimah had a .518 attack percentage and contributed 53 kills as Canada finished in eighth place at the FIVB U21 World Championship. The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American also was second on Canada 13 blocks, including having a match-high five kills along with 11 kills in a five-game victory against Argentina.

Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Tournaments played in this offseason:
FIVB World League, Pan American Cup, FIVB Grand Champions Cup
Jendryk in his FIVB World League debut season finished with a .621 attack percentage and helped the United States reach the Group 1 Finals. The All-American middle attacker had at least five kills in six World League matches, including a tournament-high 10 kills in a loss to France during the finals round. In addition, Jendryk had 10 kills and zero attack errors on a .769 attack percentage as the United States lost to Iran in five games at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup last week.

Angelos Mandilaris and Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton
Tournaments played in this offseason:
CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship
The Barton teammates representing Greece at the continental tournament advanced to the Round 16, including sweeping its knock-stage opening-round match. The two First-Team All-ConfCarolinas selections reached the knock-out stage after going 1-2 in the pool-play round to finish its pool in third place.

Joel Schneidmiller, UC Irvine
Tournaments played in this offseason:
FIVB U19 World Championship
Schneidmiller was in the top 10 among all players at the FIVB U19 World Championship with both 117 kills and a 52.23 percent offensive efficiency. The UC Irvine freshman opposite also had double-digit kills in all eight U.S. matches, including a match-high 17 kills in a sweep against Cuba in the 15th-place finals.

Gage Worsley, Hawai’i
Tournaments played in this offseason:
FIVB U21 World Championship
Worsley was fourth among all players at the FIVB U21 World Championship with a 2.79 digs per game average as the United States finished in 14th place. The Hawai’i libero had double-digit digs in three matches, including a team-high 13 digs in the 13th-place finals versus Japan.