Off the Block announces EIVA All-Decade Team

Photo courtesy of Penn State athletics

The top EIVA player from the decade are receiving an additional conference honor.

A nationwide voting committee selected 21 players to the EIVA All-Decade Team that Off the Block unveiled on Friday.

The EIVA All-Decade Team recognizes the top players to compete in the conference since the 2010 season. The EIVA during this 10-year span had a team advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals six times.

Penn State, which won seven EIVA title this decade, led all schools with eight EIVA All-Decade Team selections. In addition, Princeton, George Mason and Saint Francis all had multiple All-Decade selections.

The voting committee for this All-Decade Team was comprised of EIVA coaches and national men’s volleyball media members.
The top 10 vote-getters made the First-Team All-Decade, while the next top 10 vote-getters earned Second-Team All-Decade honors. A tie in the voting resulted in 11 players making the Second-Team All Decade.

In order to ensure representation of all positions — libero, middle attacker, opposite, outside attacker and setter — the top-two vote-getters at each position were assured spots on the All-Decade Teams.

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.

Off the Block annually presents college men’s volleyball national awards to recognize outstanding individual performances in the sport. Along with the EIVA All-Decade Team, Off the Block will present the National All-Decade Team later this month.

EIVA First-Team All-Decade

Setter: Edgardo Goas, Penn State
Setter: Brian Negron, George Mason
Opposite/Middle attacker: George Huhmann, Princeton
Opposite: Cody Kessel, Princeton
Opposite: Jordan Varee, Saint Francis
Outside attacker: Aaron Russell, Penn State
Outside attacker: Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT
Outside attacker: Joe Sunder, Penn State
Middle attacker: Max Lipsitz, Penn State
Libero: Dennis Del Valle, Penn State

EIVA Second-Team All-Decade

Setter: Daniel Ford, Saint Francis
Setter: Taylor Hammond, Penn State
Opposite: Nick Goodell, Penn State
Opposite: Mark Jones, George Mason
Opposite: Hayden Wagner, George Mason
Outside attacker: Chris Nugent, Penn State
Outside attacker: DJ White, Harvard
Middle attacker: Junior Oboh, Princeton
LIbero: Johnny Gomez, George Mason
Libero: Josh Ayzenberg, Sacred Heart

EIVA First-Team All-Decade player bios

Dennis Del Valle, Penn State (2008-11)
Awards and honors this decade:
2011 Second-Team All-American, 2011 First-Team All-EIVA, 2010 Second-Team All-American, 2010 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Del Vallie finished with a nation-best 2.65 digs per game average during his senior season as he helped the Nittany Lions to the EIVA championship and a NCAA Tournament semifinals appearance. The libero also led the EIVA averaging 3.54 digs per game average in 2010, including having a match-high 17 digs as Penn State upset CSUN in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Eduardo Goas, Penn State (2009-12)
Awards and honors this decade:
2010 First-Team All-EIVA, 2011 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-American
Player bio: As a redshirt junior, Goas ranked eighth in the nation, and first in the EIVA with 11.03 assists per game. Goas in his senior season ranked third in the nation, and first in the EIVA with 11.11 assists per game. Goas ranks second in program history with 5,205 career assists. His 81 assists in a 2010 match versus UC Irvine ranks as the most assists in a single match by a Penn State player during the rally-scoring era.

Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT (2014-17)
Awards and honors:
2017 Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year, 2017 Second-Team All-American, 2017 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2016 Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Co-Player of the Year, 2016 First-Team All-EIVA, 2015 Second-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Goodridge not only became one of the first players in NJIT history to win the EIVA Player of the Year but won the award in back-to-back seasons. The outside attacker finished with 1,450 career kills and in his senior season was second in the nation averaging 4.43 kills per game, including having seven matches with at least 20 kills. Goodridge that season also led the EIVA with a 0.50 aces per game average and had a career-high .329 attack percentage. As a junior, Gooridge was third in the nation with a 4.38 kills per game average and was fourth in the conference with a .303 attack percentage.

George Huhmann, Princeton (2017- present)
Awards and honors:
2017 Freshman All-American, 2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2017 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2018 First-Team All-EIVA, 2018 All-American Honorable Mention, 2019 Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year, 2019 All-American Honorable Mention
Player bio: There might be a debate as to whether he’s a middle attacker or an opposite, but there is no debating his accomplishments. He led the 2018 and 2019 team in kills and kills per game. He also led the 2017 and 2019 teams with 99 blocks each season and led the 2018 team with 33 aces. In three seasons so far, Huhmann has tallied 957 kills good for a 3.05 kills per game average; he also has a career .329 attack percentage.

Cody Kessel, Princeton (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 First-Team All-EIVA, 2015 Second-Team All-American
Player bio: Kessel was the third Princeton player ever named to an All-American team (Marin Gjaja in 1991, Derek Devens in 1998). He led the 2014 and 2015 teams in kills, kills per game, and points. He also led the 2015 team in aces with 20. Kessell ended in Princeton career with 1,175 career kills good for a 3.71 kills per game average.

Max Lipsitz, Penn State (2007-10)
Awards and honors this decade:
2010 First-Team All-EIVA, 2010 First-Team All-American
Player bio: Lipsitz ranks second in program history with 459 career block assists, 504 career total blocks, and a career .501 attack percentage. His 1,158 career kills also ranks in the top 20 in program history. His 138 blocks assists and 156 total blocks in 2010 ranked for fourth best and fifth best respectively in program history. His .524 attack percentage in 2010 also ranks for fourth best in program history for a single season.

Brian Negron, George Mason (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2015 All-EIVA First-Team, 2015 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2016 EIVA All-Tournament Team, 2018 EIVA Player of the Year
Player bio: Negron ranks second in program history and first during the rally-scoring era with 3,684 career assists. He led the Patriots in assists all four seasons in Fairfax, highlighted by eighth in the nation with a 10.54 assists per game average during his sophomore season. His 2.58 digs per game during his senior year ranked eighth nationally.

Aaron Russell, Penn Sate (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2015 First-Team All-EIVA, 2015 Karch Kiraly Award, 2015 National Server of the Year finalist, 2015 First-Team All-American
Player bio: The face of Penn State men’s volleyball this decade went from not being able to play on his high school’s boys volleyball team to being a member of the U.S Men’s National Team. As a freshman, Russell led the team with 0.94 blocks per game. As a sophomore, Russell led the team with 0.39 aces per game, a .304 attack percentage, and 3.59 kills per game, ranking seventh in the nation in the former category. In a junior, he led the nation with 0.65 aces per game, while also ranking in the top ten nationally with 4.00 kills per game; he also led the team with a .342 attack percentage. In his senior year, he ranked second nationally with 4.68 kills per game, fourth nationally with 0.55 aces per game, and 12th nationally with a .381 attack percentage. Russell ranks second in program history with 198 career aces, and fourth in program history with 1,534 career kills. His 71 aces in 2014 and 62 aces in 2015 rank second and third best respectively for most aces in a single season.

Joe Sunder, Penn State (2009-12)
Awards and honors this decade:
2010 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2011 First-Team All-EIVA 2011 First-Team All-American, 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-American
Player bio: In 2011, Sunder led the team with 0.28 aces per game, a .361 attack percentage, and 4.54 kills per game, ranking in the top ten nationally in the latter two categories. In 2012, Sunder led the team with 3.52 kills per game, and was second on the team with 0.30 aces per game, 1.74 digs per game, and a .330 attack percentage. Sunder ranks fifth in program history with 1,483 career kills.

Jordan Varee, Saint Francis (2007-10)
Awards and honors from this decade:
2010 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Varee as a senior led the EIVA with a 4.83 kills per game average to conclude his time at Saint Francis with a school record 1,864 career kills. The opposite had at least 30 kills in two matches that season along with having both a match-high 20 kills and five aces in an upset victory against Ohio State. In addition, Varee ended the 2010 season in the conference’s top 10 with both a .308 attack percentage and a 0.39 aces per game average.

EIVA Second-Team All-Decade player bios

Joshua Ayzenberg, Sacred Heart (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2016 Second-Team All-EIVA; 2017 Erik Shoji Award finalist; 2017 All-American honorable mention; 2017 First-Team All-EIVA; 2018 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Ayzenberg concluded his college career with back-to-back seasons of having the second-best dig average in the nation. The libero in 2017 had a 2.92 digs per game average that was highlighted by a season-high 22 digs in an upset victory against Penn State. Ayzenberg the following year as a senior finished with a career-best 2.95 digs per game average and had double-digit digs in 15 matches. In addition, Ayzenberg set the Sacred Heart career record with 775 digs — more than 200 digs than any other player in program history.

Daniel Ford, Saint Francis (2015-17)
Awards and honors:
2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2016 Second-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Ford was the only Saint Francis setter to earn multiple All-EIVA honors during the decade and concluded his college career third in school history with 2,680 assists. The three-year starter finished his junior season in the nation’s top 15 with a 10.05 assists per game average and guided the Red Flash offense to its best attack percentage of the decade at .281. Ford in 2017 also was second in the EIVA with a 9.97 assists percentage and had his third consecutive season with more than 100 digs.

Nick Goodell, Penn State (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2012 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 Second-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: In 2014, Goodell was second on the team in aces per game and attack percentage, while ranking third in digs per game. In 2015, he ranked No. 8 in the EIVA and second on the team with 3.11 kills per game.

Johnny Gomez, George Mason (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2016 All-EIVA First-Team, 2016 All-American Honorable Mention, 2017 All-EIVA Second-Team, 2018 Erik Shoji Award finalist, 2018 All-EIVA Second-Team
Player bio: Gomez led the Patriots is digs and digs per game in each of his final three years in Fairfax, and had 721 total digs during that span. His 3.03 digs during his All-American campaign ranks as best in program history for most digs in a single season during the rally-scoring era, and was tops in the nation that year. His career 2.60 digs per game also ranks as best in program history during the rally-scoring era.

Taylor Hammond, Penn State (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2013 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2013 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2015 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2016 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Hammond finished in the nation’s top five for assists in each of his four college seasons. The setter had a career-best 11.34 assists per game average and guided the offense to the nation’s ninth-best attack percentage at .305 as he helped the Nittany Lions advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. In addition, Hammond finished his senior season fifth in the nation with an 11.04 assists per game average. Along with his offensive performance, Hammond had more than 100 digs in all four seasons and had more than 500 career digs.

Mark Jones, George Mason (2010-13)
Awards and honors:
2011 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2013 Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Co-Players of the Year, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Jones as a sophomore was second in the EIVA and fifth in the nation with a 4.46 kills per game average. This was the first of three seasons that Jones finished in the conference’s top 10 for kills. The outside attacker was ninth in the EIVA averaging 3.25 kills per game in 2012 and then was ninth in the EIVA with a 3.30 kills per game average in 2013. Among his top performances that senior season included a season-high 27 kills on a .328 attack percentage against Purdue Fort Wayne.

Chris Nugent, Penn State (2014-17)
Awards and honors:
2017 Second-Team All-American, 2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2016 Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Co-Player of the Year, 2016 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Nugent during his junior season was in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.84 kills per game average on a career-best .309 attack percentage. The following season Nugent finished once again among the national leaders averaging 3.18 kills per game. In addition, the outside attacker led the Nittany Lions offensively in multiple postseason matches. Nugent had 15 kills while hitting .400 as Penn State defeated Hawai’i in the 2015 NCAA Tournament play-in match. He also had a match-high 15 kills on a .560 attack percentage to help Penn State sweep Princeton in the 2017 EIVA Tournament semifinals en route to the team winning the conference title.

Junior Oboh, Princeton (2014-18)
Awards and honors:
2015 First-Team All-EIVA, 2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2018 Second-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: Oboh led the Tigers in 2014 and 2015 in blocks, while leading the 2016 and 2017 teams in attack percentage. He finished his Princeton career with a .373 attack percentage and a 1.06 blocks per game average.

Hayden Wagner (2017- present)
Awards and honors:
2018 All-EIVA First-Team, 2018 All-American Honorable Mention, 2019 All-EIVA First-Team, 2019 All-American Honorable Mention
Player bio: Wagner led the team with 346 kills and 3.46 kills per game average in 2018, while also leading the team with 379 kills and a 4.26 kills per game average (No. 5 nationally) in 2019. During his three seasons, he has tallied 730 kills good for a 3.38 kills per game average.

DJ White, Harvard (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 First-Team All-EIVA
Player bio: White is the only player on this list to make the All-EIVA First Team in all four seasons in Cambridge. White ranks second all-time in Harvard history in both kills (1,052), and digs (556). White ranks in the top 10 in program history in attack percentage, kills per game, and block assists.