Four finalists announced for 2019 Bryan Ivie Award

Photo by Fabiana Beatriz

A nationwide voting committee selected four players as finalists for the nation’s top award to an opposite.

Off the Block announced Sunday that Long Beach State’s Kyle Ensing, BYU’s Gabi Garcia Fernandez, Barton’s Angelos Mandilaris and Hawai’i’s Rado Parapunov were named finalists for the 2019 Bryan Ivie Award.

The Bryan Ivie Award, which is named after the former USC All-American and U.S. Olympian, is presented to the nation’s best opposite in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.

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

Ensing, the 2018 Bryan Ivie Award winner, is in the nation’s top 20 both with a 3.61 kills per game average and a .361 attack percentage. Among Ensing’s top performances this year featured a season-high 27 kills while hitting .471 in a five-game victory against UC Santa Barbara on March 14. He also is sixth in the nation averaging 0.52 aces per game.

Fernandez is fourth in the country with a 4.29 kills per game average and had at least 20 kills in seven regular season matches. Topping his offensive performances this season was a season-high 31 kills on 72 attempts and a .306 attack percentage against Concordia-Irvine in March.

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.

Parapunov with a 4.14 kills per game average and a .432 attack percentage is the only player in the nation’s top 10 for both of those offensive categories. He also had three consecutive Big West matches with at least 20 kills, including having 20 kills and hitting .552 in a sweep of UC Santa Barbara on April 5. Along with offensive performance, Parapunov is eighth in the country averaging 0.48 aces per game.

The voting committee for the Bryan Ivie Award was comprised of about 25 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

The top three vote-getters were named finalists for the Bryan Ivie Award. A tie in the voting resulted in four finalists for the award this season.

This is the fourth year that Off the Block has presented the Bryan Ivie Award. Previous winners of the award include former Pepperdine All-American opposite Parker Kalmbach in 2015, former BYU All-American opposite Ben Patch in 2016, Hawai’i All-American Stijn van Tilburg in 2017 and Ensing last season.

The Bryan Ivie Award is one of several end of season awards presented by Off the Block. Among the other national awards includes the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero and the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker.

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.