Brandon Johnson | Senior Contributor
The Lloy Ball Award is annually given to the nation’s best setter in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.
The award is named after former All-American at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and U.S. Men’s National Team gold medal-winning setter Lloy Ball, and is selected by a nationwide voting committee of college men’s volleyball coaches and media members.
Check out who made Off the Block’s preseason watch list for the Lloy Ball Award for 2020.
Paul Bischoff, Stanford
Bischoff earned a spot on the AVCA All-American Honorable Mention team after collecting 10.32 assists per game in 2019, good for No. 6 in the country. In addition, Bischoff earned MPSF Defensive Player of the Week honors on January 14. The Cardinal return a loaded lineup in 2020 these numbers to continue to rise for the Wheaton, Illinois native.
Matthew Ctvrtlik, Harvard
After spending his first two years setting and hitting in a 6-2 offense, Ctvrtlik moved to being a primary setter in 2019 and saw his assist numbers take off. He averaged 8.86 assists per game, and collected a career-high 51 assists in a match against Princeton. He was named to the All-EIVA Second Team in 2019.
Brennan Davis, Belmont Abbey
Davis finished his Sophomore season 6th in the country at 9.95 assists per game. He collected a career-high 55 assists in a five-game loss to Lincoln Memorial in March. He earned a spot on the All-ConfCarolinas Second Team in 2019.
Oscar Fiorentino, Barton
Fiorentino put together a strong Junior campaign, collecting over 1,000 assists good for 10.70 per game which was the second-highest mark in the country. He helped lead the Bulldogs to a .338 hitting efficiency as they claimed the top spot in ConfCarolinas. Barton was recently picked as the favorites to win the conference again in 2020.
Chris Hall, USC
Hall took over the starting role midway through his Freshman year in 2018 and has held the starting position since then. He averaged 9.97 assists per game in 2019, earning a spot on the All-MPSF Honorable Mention team. He collected a career-high 55 assists against Stanford on February 14.
Mads Kyed Jensen, UCLA
Jensen, a native of Denmark, steps into role held by Micah Ma’a the last four years. Jensen, a 6’10” lefty setter, will be surrounded by plenty of firepower for the Bruins who are the preseason No. 2 team in the country according to the national coaches poll.
Joe Kelly, Princeton
In his two years running the Princeton offense, Kelly has averaged 9.45 assists per game, and earned a spot on the All-EIVA Second Team in 2019 when he finished second in the conference in assists. The Tigers are the near-unanimous favorites to win the EIVA in 2020.
Robert Mullahey, Pepperdine
Mullahey is a two-year starter for the Waves, earning a spot on the AVCA All-American Honorable Mention team in 2019. In 2018, he was named a Freshman All-American by Off the Block. Throughout his career, he has averaged 10.44 assists per game, leading the MPSF both years.
Francisco Pomar, Erskine
Pomar was a bright spot for Erskine during a tough 2019 season, as he completed a strong Freshman year with assists at 9.81 per game (top-ten nationally). He collected a season-high 61 assists in a five-game win against King on February 1.
AJ Risavy, Lincoln Memorial
A year after being named IVA Freshman of the Year by Off the Block, Risavy finished fifth in the country in assists per game in 2019 at 9.98 per game. He earned IVA All-Tournament honors as the Railsplitters earned the 2019 championship, defeating Queens in a sweep. In addition, Risavy was named to the Off the Block 2019 All-Independent Team.
Carlos Rivera, Long Beach State
In his first two years at Long Beach, Rivera won two National Championships serving as the backup setter and serving sub. In 2020, he will step into the role of starting setter, taking over for Josh Tuaniga, one of the top setters in the program’s history. The Beach will need to replace most of their firepower, but are still picked No. 4 by coaches in the preseason poll.
Ryan Serrano, McKendree
Serrano was named Freshman of the Year in the MIVA in 2019, collecting 8.73 assists per game. He helped lead the Bearcats to a fourth-place finish in the MIVA, hosting a MIVA tournament game for the first time in school history.
Wil Stanley, BYU
Before missing the second half of 2019 due to injuries, Stanley put up 9.52 assists per game, leading a potent Cougars’ offense. BYU returns all their firepower from 2019, and with Stanley leading the way, the Cougars have been picked as the preseason favorites to win the MPSF in 2020.
Jakob Thelle, Hawai’i
Thelle steps into the role of starting setter for a Rainbow Warriors squad picked as the preseason top team in the country by the national coaches poll. In 2019, Thelle was predominantly a serving sub, but had his career match on February 9 against Queens, collecting 22 assists and five digs. Hawai’i is the unanimous choice to win the Big West Conference in 2020.
Garrett Zolg, Loyola
Zolg has earned AVCA All-American Honorable Mention nods in his first two years for the Ramblers, as well as being a two-time All-MIVA First Team selection. He has crossed the 1,000 assists threshold in each of his two seasons, averaging 10.59 assists per game in his career.