Off the Block announces winners of National Position Player of Week Awards

Photo by Jay Sowers

Five college men’s volleyball players have earned national awards for being the best at their position.

CSUN’s Taylor Ittner, Barton’s Angelos Malidaris, Ball State’s Kaleb Jenness, Lincon Memorial’s Pedro Carvalho, and UC Irvine’s David Parker were selected for the Off the Block National Position Player of the Week Awards.

The National Position Player of the Week Awards recognize the libero, middle attacker, opposite, outside attacker and setter who had the best performances in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the week.

The Off the Block staff determines each award recipient. In addition, the winners are announced every Monday during the regular season on the Off the Block website, offtheblockblog.com.

While there are other weekly national awards in college men’s volleyball, these are the only position-based weekly awards. Off the Block at the end of the season also presents the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker and the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero.

Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.

National Position Player of the Week Awards

Off the Block National Setter of the Week: Taylor Ittner, CSUN
Off the Block National Opposite of the Week: Angelos Mandilaris, Barton
Off the Block National Outside Attacker of the Week: Kaleb Jenness, Ball State
Off the Block National Middle Attacker of the Week: Pedro Carvalho, Lincoln Memorial
Off the Block National Libero of the Week: David Parker, UC Irvine

Taylor Ittner, CSUN
Ittner led the Matadors to road split against Purdue Fort Wayne and Ball State, collecting 96 assists along the way. Against Purdue Fort Wayne, the Matadors rallied from two sets down to complete the reverse sweep. Ittner handed out 49 assists and collected six digs in the win. The following night, the Matadors dropped a tough five set decision at Ball State. Ittner had another strong showing, dishing out 47 assists to go along with five digs. He led the Matadors to a .324 hitting efficiency.

Angelos Mandilaris, Barton
Mandilaris recorded 45 kills, 19 digs, 12 total blocks, and four service aces to help the Bulldogs win the Grow the Game Challenge over the weekend. Mandilaris had a team-high 19 kills to lead Barton to its first program win over a ranked opponent against No. 15 Grand Canyon, and followed that performance with 15 kills on .297 hitting against NCAA powerhouse USC. Mandilaris rounded out the weekend with 11 kills, two service aces, three blocks, and four digs against Quincy.

Kaleb Jenness, Ball State
Jenness had 38 combined kills in back-to-back five-set matches against No. 12 UC Santa Barbara and No. 10 CSUN. Jenness put away a match-high 22 kills while hitting for .410 against UC Santa Barbara. Against CSUN, Jenness recorded 16 kills on .355 hitting and added eight total blocks to lead Ball State to a five-set win over the Matador.

Pedro Carvalho, Lincoln Memorial 
Carvalho finished with 19 kills, 22 blocks, five aces and a .457 hitting percentage at the Grow the Game Challenge this past weekend. Carvalho recorded five kills a match-high eight blocks in a straight-set loss against the Trojans on Friday. The sophomore middle blocker recorded another five kills (this time hitting for an error-less .556) and another match-high total of seven blocks the next day in a three-game win over Limestone. Carvalho rounded out the weekend with a nine-kill, seven block performance against No. 15 Grand Canyon.

David Parker, UC Irvine
Parker nabs his second National Libero of the Week award after noting a combined 28 digs in a 1-1 split against Stanford on the road. The senior had a match-high 11 digs in the Anteater’s first game against No. 9/9 Stanford and notched a season-best 17 digs in their second outing against the Cardinal.