Lewis middle Murray named Springbak/OTB National Freshman of Week

Photo courtesy of Lewis athletics

Middle attack TJ Murray is the recipient of a college men’s volleyball national award after helping lead No. 10/9 Lewis to two critical conference victories.

Off the Block announced Monday that Murray was selected as the Springbak/Off the Block National Freshman of the Week.

Murray finished with a match-high six blocks along with five kills and zero attack errors on a .500 hitting percentage in a sweep against No. 15 Fort Wayne on Thursday. The middle attacker also had eight kills while hitting .600 and added five blocks as Lewis swept No. 11 Ball State to move into sole possession of third place in the MIVA.

This is the first time this season that a Flyer has earned the National Freshman of the Week. In addition, Murray is third Lewis player to receive the honor in the five-year history of the award.

The National Freshman of the Week is presented each week during the regular season to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball freshman who had the most outstanding performance. The winner is announced every Monday during the regular season on the Off the Block website, offtheblockblog.com.

Each of the five NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball conferences have an opportunity each week to nominate one player for the National Freshman of the Week. In addition, fans and teams can nominate a player for the National Freshman of the Week by tweeting their nominee to the official Twitter account of Off the Block, @offtheblock11.

Off the Block is a website that started in January 2011 and has become the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2018 Freshmen All-American Team and National Freshman of the Week 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.

National Freshman of the Week honorable mentions

Joe Kelly, Princeton — Kelly led Princeton to more than a .300 attack percentage in back-to-back five-game victories against Lindenwood and Mckendree. The setter also had a combined 25 digs during Princeton’s three-match Midwest road trip last week, including 13 digs in the victory against Lindenwood.

Brian Long, Belmont Abbey — Long finished with 11 kills on a .529 attack percentage as Belmont Abbey swept its cross-town rivals Queens on Thursday. He also had 12 kills, eight digs and four blocks in a five-game victory Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.

Tyler Mitchem, Lewis — Mitchem had six kills and hit .500 while contributing three blocks as No. 10/9 Lewis swept No. 15 Fort Wayne on Thursday. He also had a match-high seven blocks in a sweep against No. 11 Ball State on Saturday.

Joel Schneidmiller, UC Irvine — Schneidmiller had 10 kills on a .318 attack pcetnage and added two blocks in a non-conference sweep against USC on Saturday.

Garrett Zolg, Loyola — Zolg had two aces and guided the offense to a .325 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 11 Ball State on Thursday. The setter also had 36 assists and led No. 6/5 Loyola to hit .398 as it swept No. 15 Fort Wayne to maintain its first-place lead in the MIVA.