One question remains after months of outstanding individual performances at international tournaments — what college men’s volleyball player was the best of this offseason.
Off the Block on Wednesday announced the 10 finalists for the annual Off the Block National Player of the Offseason, and it is now up to the fans to determine the winner.
The 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 have a chance to determine who was the best player through online voting on the Off the Block website.
The online poll is now open and closes at 10 p.m. (CST) Saturday.
Both Long Beach State and Stanford led all schools with two finalists. Charleston Hawai’i, NJIT, Purdue Fort Wayne and UC San Diego each have one finalist.
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.
Check out the finalists below for the 2018 National Player of the Offseason. Individuals can vote using the poll below or by visiting offtheblockblog.com/PlayerOfOffseason.
National Player of the Offseason finalists
Colton Cowell and Brett Rosenmeier, Hawai’i
Rosenmeier and Cowell playing as a beach pair advanced to the second round of the World University Games with a first-round upset victory against the No. 9 seeded team at the tournament. The Hawai’i teammates also won the silver medal at the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships.
Blake Crisp, UC San Diego
Crisp was named the Best Setter at the NORCECA U21 Continental Championship as he finished with a tournament-best 5.00 excellent sets per game average. The setter also guided the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team to the tournament’s third-best offensive efficiency at 48.63 percent and helped the team reach the semifinals.
Kyle Dagostino, Stanford
Dagostino led the United States and was in the top 10 at the Pan American Cup with a 2.29 digs per game average. The libero also had two matches with double-digit digs as the United States finished in seventh place.
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
DeFalco appeared in 19 matches during the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and had a 45 percent offensive efficiency as he helped the United States win the bronze medal. The All-American finished that international tournament with a 2.26 kills per game average, including have double-digit kills in two matches. DeFalco’s top performance came in the opening-round finale when he had 13 kills and two aces against Italy.
Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
Ensing in 13 match appearance with the United States at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League averaged 2.72 kills per game on a 46 percent offensive efficiency. In addition, the All-American opposite had double-digit kills performance in both of the U.S. matches against Russia. Ensing was one of two current college players on the U.S. roster as the team advanced to the finals and won the bronze medal.
Tomas Gago, Purdue Fort Wayne
Gago, one of the youngest players on the Chilean roster for the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup, had a combined 12 kills on 23 attempts and two blocks in losses to the Czech Republic and Cuba. The middle attacker also played for Chile at the Pan American Cup. Gago in the tournament opener had four kills on a 66.7 percent offensive efficiency as Chile lost to Cuba.
Alvaro Gimeno, NJIT
Gimeno playing for the Spanish Men’s Junior National Team had a tournament-best 4.45 kills per game average during the CEV U20 European Championship third round. The 2018 EIVA Newcomer of the Year led Spain to the third-round finals and had a match-high 24 kills in a five-game finals loss to Poland. Gimeno also concluded the eight-team third round with the tournament’s third-best attack percentage at .375
Jaylen Jasper, Stanford
Jasper led all players at the NORCECA U21 Continental Championship with 21 aces and earned the Best Server award. Among his top performances for the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team included a match-high 11 aces in a four-game victory against Canada to clinch the Group B championship. He also had the third-most points of any player at the bi-annual NORCECA event.
Max Senica, Charleston
Senica serving as the team captain led Australia to the Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship quarterfinals. The outside attacker had a tournament-high 13 kills in a five-game comeback victory against the host nation Bahrain during the Round of 16. He also had a team-high nine kills in a win against Kazakhstan that clinched Australia’s berth to the Round of 16.
David Wieczorek, Pepperdine
Wieczorek had a tournament-high nine aces and was earned the Best Server award at the Pan American Cup. The All-American outside attacker opened the tournament leading the United States with four aces in a victory against Peru. He then had a match-high four aces in a sweep against the Dominican Republic. The United States finished the tournament in seventh place.