A nationwide voting committee selected 20 players to the 2018 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams.
The annual Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Teams recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season.
Long Beach State and BYU led all schools with three players earning Preseason All-American honors, including the 49ers having three first-team selections. In addition, Hawai’i, Stanford and UCLA each had two players selected as Preseason All-Americans.
Along with these teams, Ball State, CSUN, Lewis, Loyola, Penn State, Pepperdine, UC Irvine and the two-team defending NCAA champions Ohio State all had one player make a Preseason All-American Team.
Players eligible for the Preseason All-American Teams had to be on an active roster of a Division I-II men’s volleyball team.
The 16-member voting committee for the preseason award was comprised of men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The 10 players receiving the most votes were named Preseason First-Team All-Americans, while the next top 10 vote-getters were selected as Preseason Second-Team All-Americans.
Outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen entering his senior season after leading Ohio State to back-to-back NCAA championships received the most votes to headline the Preseason First-Team All-Americans. Long Beach State’s TJ DeFalco and Josh Tuaniga, along with Loyola’s Jeff Jendryk finished tied for the second-most votes. To view the complete voting results, click here.
This is the seventh consecutive season that Off the Block has presented the men’s volleyball Division I-II Preseason All-American Teams. Off the Block is the only volleyball organization to present men’s volleyball Preseason All-American Teams.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2018 Preseason All-American Teams. Springbak, Inc. produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.
The NCAA men’s volleyball season begins in January and concludes with the seven-team NCAA Tournament in May.
PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State
Opposite: Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i
Opposite: Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Jake Arnitz, UCLA
Outside attacker: TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Brenden Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Libero: Evan Enriques, Stanford
Libero: Larry Tuileta, Hawai’i
PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Leo Durkin, BYU
Setter: Micah Ma’a, UCLA
Opposite: Arvis Greene, CSUN
Opposite: Calvin Mende, Penn State
Outside attacker: Ryan Coenen, Lewis
Outside attacker: David Wieczorek, Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Price Jarman, BYU
Middle attacker: Kevin Rakestraw, Stanford
Middle attacker: Scott Stadick, UC Irvine
Middle attacker: Matt Walsh, Ball State
Others receiving votes on two or more ballots
Matt Szews, Ball State
Tanner Syftestad, UC San Diego
Joshua Ayzenburg, Sacred Heart
Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis
Mitch Perinar, Lewis
JT Hatch, UCLA
Daenan Gyimah, UCLA
Aaron Koubi, UC Irvine
Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton
Jeff Sprayberry, King
Blake Leeson, Ohio State
Jordan Ewert, Stanford
Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN
Rado Parapunov, Hawai’i
George Huhmann, Princeton
Luke Braswell, Penn State
Gabe Woffindin, St. Francis
Preseason First-Team All-American player bios
Jake Arnitz | UCLA | Outside attacker
Arnitz led UCLA and was among the national leaders with a 3.51 kills per game average and had a career-best .386 attack percentage last season. The All-American also helped the Bruins overcome an injury-plagued season to finish in fifth place in the MPSF and reach the conference tournament quarterfinals.
TJ DeFalco | Long Beach State | Outside attacker
DeFalco finished last season in the nation’s top 10 with both a 3.99 kills per game average and a .389 attack percentage. The First-Team All-American also was 2017 recipient of the Karch Kiraly Award and was the 2017 AVCA National Player of the Year as he led Long Beach State to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Evan Enriques | Stanford | Libero
Enriques was second in the MPSF and among the national leaders with a 2.36 digs per game average last season. In addition, Enriques was named a finalist for the 2017 Erik Shoji Award and helped Stanford advance to the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Kyle Ensing | Long Beach State | Opposite
Ensing was in the nation’s top 25 last season both with a 3.37 kills per game average and a .335 attack percentage as Long Beach State reached the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The All-American also competed at the FIVB U21 World Championship during the offseason and led the United States with 90 kills and a 45.69 percent offensive efficiency.
Jeff Jendryk | Loyola | Middle attacker
Jendryk, a 2017 finalist for the Ryan Millar Award, ended last season fourth in the nation hitting .431 and was seventh among all players averaging 1.16 blocks per game. He also was named the 2017 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Player of the Offseason after helping the United States reach the FIVB World League Finals and contributed a .621 attack percentage during the tournament.
Brenden Sander | BYU | Outside attacker
Sander was among the nation’s leaders with a 2.95 kills per game last season, including having double-digit kills and at least a .300 attack percentage in three straight postseason matches. He also helped BYU win a share of the MPSF regular season title and reach its second consecutive NCAA Tournament finals.
Nicolas Szerszen | Ohio State | Outside attacker
Szerszen returns for his senior season after leading Ohio State to back-to-back NCAA championships. The 2016 AVCA National Player of the Year ended last season with a nation-best 75 aces, while also being in the nation’s top 10 with both a .421 attack percentage and a 3.73 kills per game average. Along with winning the national championship, Szerszen was named the 2017 International Player of the Year in college men’s volleyball.
Josh Tuaniga | Long Beach State | Setter
Tuaniga ended last season leading the country with an 11.06 assists per game average and guided the 49ers’ offense to a nation-best .366 attack percentage. The First-Team All-American also was the recipient of the 2017 Lloy Ball Award and helped Long Beach State make the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the second consecutive season.
Larry Tuileta | Hawai’i | Libero
Tuileta after transferring from USC and sitting out the 2016 season returned to the court and earned All-American honors as he finished 2017 among the nation’s leaders with a 2.36 digs per game average. He also helped the Rainbow Warriors earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Stijn van Tilburg | Hawai’i | Opposite
van Tilburg finished the 2017 season third in the nation with a 4.25 kills per game average and was among the national leaders hitting .370. In addition, the First-Team All-American was the 2017 recipient of the Bryan Ivie Award as he helped lead the Rainbow Warriors to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Preseason Second-Team All-American player bios
Ryan Coenen | Lewis | Outside attacker
Coenen, the 2017 AVCA National Newcomer of the Year, ended last season leading Lewis and in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.20 kills per game average. He also earned All-American and Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American Team honors as Lewis finished the regular season in second place in the MIVA.
Leo Durkin | BYU | Setter
Durkin was sixth in the nation with a 10.38 assists per game average as he guided the BYU offense to the country’s fourth-best attack percentage at .321 last season. He also was a finalist for the 2017 Lloy Ball Award and helped the Cougars maj the NCAA Tournament finals for the second straight season.
Arvis Greene | CSUN | Opposite
Greene ended last season sixth in the nation averaging 3.99 kills per game, including having six matches with more than 20 kills. His upcoming senior season also will be the inaugural season for CSUN in the newly created Big West men’s volleyball conference.
Price Jarman | BYU | Middle attacker
Jarman led BYU and was among the nation’s leaders with a 0.98 blocks per game average last season. The all-conference selection also added a .464 attack percentage and helped the Cougars reach the NCAA Tournament finals for the second straight season.
Micah Ma’a | UCLA | Setter
Despite missing part of the season because of an injury, Ma’a helped guide UCLA’s 6-2 offense to the third-best attack percentage in the nation at .326. He also had four matches with at least three aces and ended the season in the nation’s top 25 averaging 0.33 aces per game.
Calvin Mende | Penn State | Opposite
Mende led Penn State and was among the national leaders with a 3.25 kills per game average last season, including having a team-high 18 kills in the NCAA Tournament play-in match. He also added 81 blocks and helped Penn State win the EIVA championship.
Kevin Rakestraw | Stanford | Middle attacker
Rakestraw remains with the Cardinal for one more season after graduating earlier this year and then enrolling in graduate school at Stanford. In addition, Rakestraw finished last season third in the nation with a .433 attack percentage and added a 1.04 blocks per game average
Scott Stadick | UC Irvine | Middle attacker
Stadick, a 2017 Off the Block/Springbak Freshman All-American, finished last season in the nation’s top six with both a 1.19 blocks per game average and a .421 attack percentage. In addition, Stadick during the offseason played for the United States at the FIVB U21 World Championship and ended that event in the tournament’s top 10 averaging 0.64 blocks per game.
Matt Walsh | Ball State | Middle attacker
Walsh had a nation-best .449 attack percentage and was fourth in the nation with a 1.19 blocks per game average last season. The All-MIVA selection also was a finalist for the 2017 Ryan Millar Award and helped lead Ball State to the MIVA Tournament semifinals.
David Wieczorek | Pepperdine | Outside attacker
Wieczorek finished last season eighth in the nation with a 3.86 kills per game average on a .354 attack percentage. He also repeated as the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Fan Choice National Player of the Year and helped Pepperdine advance to the conference tournament quarterfinals in 2017.