Barton, Lewis, Lincoln Memorial players named finalists for Division II National Player of Year

Photo by Jay Sowers

A nationwide voting committee selected Lincoln Memorial opposite Evan Cory, Barton opposite Angelos Mandilaris and Lewis setter Matt Yoshimoto as finalists for 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.

Off the Block announced the finalists on Sunday and will unveil the award winner on Friday as part of its College Men’s Volleyball National Awards Presentation.

Cory, the Independent Teams Player of the Year, was eighth in the nation with a 4.04 kills per game average on a career-best .341 attack percentage. The opposite had five matches with at least 20 kills, including a season-high 26 kills while hitting .512 in a five-game victory against Emmanuel in March. He also was second in the country averaging 0.64 aces per game and was among the national leaders with a 1.11 blocks per game average as he helped the Railsplitters set a program record for wins.

Mandilaris, the ConfCarolinas Offensive Player of the Year, is second in the nation with a 4.40 kills per game average and set this season’s single-match record with 32 kills in a four-game victory against Belmont Abbey in March. He also had both a career-high .355 attack percentage and 48 aces as he helped the Bulldogs win the ConfCarolinas championship and play host to a NCAA Tournament match.

Yoshimoto, the MIVA Player of the Year, was eighth in the nation with a 9.95 assists per game average and guided the Flyers to the seventh best attack percentage in the nation at .322. The setter also led the nation with a 0.66 aces per game average as he helped Lewis in the MIVA championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

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 for the national honor.

This is the third year that Off the Block has presented the Division II National Player of the Year. Former UC San Diego opposite Tanner Syftestad won the award the first two seasons.

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.