Long Beach State outside DeFalco wins 2019 Karch Kiraly Award

In the closest vote in the history of the national award, Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco is once again the winner of the Karch Kiraly Award.

Off the Block announced Friday that DeFalco edged out Hawai’i outside attacker Stijn van Tilburg by two points to win national honor.

The Karch Kiraly Award, which is named after the former UCLA All-American and U.S. Olympian, is presented to the nation’s best outside attacker in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season. In addition, a nationwide voting committee of coaches and media members determine the award winner.

DeFalco, now a three-time winner of the Karch Kiraly Award, entered the NCAA Tournament in the nation’s top 25 with both a 3.43 kills per game average and a .386 attack percentage. The U.S. Men’s National Team member had double-digit kills in 19 matches, including 18 kills while hitting .500 in a five-game victory against Hawai’i on April 12.

DeFalco also is fourth in the nation averaging 0.54 aces per game as he helped lead the defending NCAA champion 49ers to the No. 2 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.

The voting committee for the Karch Kiraly 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 Karch Kiraly Award.

DeFalco earned 41 points to win the award, while van Tilburg finished with 39 points. The other finalist Pepperdine outside attacker David Wieczorek received 20 votes.

This is the fifth year that Off the Block has presented the Karch Kiraly Award. Previous winners of the award include former Penn State All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell in 2015, former Ohio State All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen in 2016 and DeFalco the last two years.

The Karch Kiraly 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, the Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, 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.

2019 Karch Kiraly Award voting results

1. TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State — 41 points
2. Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i — 39 points
3. David Wieczorek, Pepperdine — 20 points
4. Michael Fisher , St. Francis — 8 points
5. Corey Chavers, UC Santa Barbara — 5 points
6. Pelegrin Vargas, Purdue Fort Wayne — 3 points
T-7. Colton Cowell, Hawai’i — 1 point
T-7. Jordan Ewert, Stanford — 1 point
T-7. Joel Schneidmiller, UC Irvine — 1 point
T-7. Jack Wyett, USC — 1 point