UCSD opposite Syftestad repeats as Division II National Player of Year

Opposite Tanner Syftestad has capped off his college career as a multiple-time recipient of the top individual award for a NCAA Division II men’s volleyball player.

Off the Block announced Tuesday that a nationwide voting committee for the second consecutive year selected the UC San Diego senior as the Division II National Player of the Year.

The Division II National Player of the Year is awarded to the nation’s best player on a NCAA Division II men’s volleyball team during the regular season. While Division I and Division II schools compete for the same national championship and individual awards, this award is the only national player of the year solely for Division II players.

Syftestad ended the season second in the nation with a 4.48 kills per game average, including having eight regular season matches with at least 20 kills. Among his top performances of the season featured a 24 kills and a season-high seven blocks in an upset victory against Concordia-Irvine in January.

Syftestad was in the top 10 of the Big West with a .314 attack percentage and led all opposites in the conference with a 1.63 digs per game average. In addition, he helped UC San Diego finish the regular season at No. 4 in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division II National Coaches Poll.

A voting committee of about 25 men’s volleyball coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation determined the winner of the Division II National Player of the Year. The top three vote-getters were named finalists.

Syftestad received 45 votes to beat the runner-up Lewis outside attacker Ryan Coenen by 19 votes. Both Syftestad and Coenen were the only two players to receive at least 10 votes.

The other finalist Barton opposite Angelos Mandilaris finished in third place with seven votes.

This is the second year that Off the Block has presented the Division II National Player of the Year.

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.

Division II National Player of the Year (voting results)

1. Tanner Syftestad, UC San Diego — 45 votes
2. Ryan Coenen, Lewis — 26 votes
3. Angelos Mandilaris, Barton — 7 votes
4. Evan Cory, Lincoln Memorial — 6 votes
5. Tyler Mitchem, Lewis 5 votes
T-6. Nick Drooker, King — 3 votes
T-6. Chandler Gibb, Concordia-Irvine — 3 votes
T-6. TJ Murray, Lewis — 3 votes
T-6. Robert Poole, Mount Olive — 3 votes
T-6. Jeff Sprayberry, King — 3 votes
T-6. Anthony Rivera, Charleston — 3 votes
T-6. Brendan Schmidt, McKendree — 3 votes
13. Michael Simmons, Lewis — 2 votes
T-14. Raymond Barsemian, Concordia-Irvine — 1 vote
T-14. Hunter Howell, Concordia-Irvine 1 vote
T-14. Mitch Perinar, Lewis — 1 vote
T-14. Jacob Wieser, Concordia-Irvine — 1 vote
T-14. Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis — 1 vote