Former Ohio State outside Szerszen named MIVA Player of Decade

Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University athletics.

The only player in conference history to win the MIVA Player of the Year three times is now earning the conference’s top individual honor for the decade.

A nationwide voting committee selected former Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen as the MIVA Player of the Decade that was unveiled Thursday on Off the Block.

Szerszen set the Ohio State record with both 1,678 career kills and 238 aces. The French outside attacker also was third in school history with 783 career digs, the most for any non-libero, and was in the program’s top 15 with a .373 career attack percentage.

Szerszen as a junior finished in the nation’s top 10 with both a 3.73 kills per game and a .389 attack percentage and averaged a nation-best 0.64 aces per game. In addition, Szerszen had a match-high 16 kills while hitting .480 as Ohio State swept BYU in the 2017 NCAA Tournament finals to repeat as national champions.

In sophomore season, Szerszen became one of the youngest players in college men’s volleyball history to win the National Player of the Year. The three-time All-American ended that season in the nation’s top 10 averaging 4.31 kills per game and 0.53 aces per game, including having a combined 45 kills in the Buckeyes’three NCAA Tournament matches.

Szerszen during his senior season won his third consecutive MIVA Player of the Year honor and led the Buckeyes to their third consecutive MIVA championship.

He also concluded that year among the national leaders with a 3.76 kills per game average and a 2.19 digs per game average.

The voting committee for this MIVA Player of the Decade was comprised of MIVA head coaches along with national volleyball media members. The top-three vote-getters were selected finalists, while the individual with the most votes named the overall award winner.

Szerszen received 20 votes to edge out the runner-up and former Loyola All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke by five votes. Former Lewis All-American outside attacker Geoff Powell finished in third place with two votes.

Off the Block coordinated the MIVA All-Decade Awards. Along with the MIVA Player of the Decade, Off the Block presented the MIVA Coach of the Decade, the MIVA Team of the Decade and the EIVA All-Decade Awards.

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

MIVA Player of the Decade voting results

1. Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State — 20 votes
2. Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola — 15 votes
3. Geoff Powell, Lewis — 2 votes
4. Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State — 1 vote