Off the Block unveils MIVA All-Decade Team

Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University athletics.

The best MIVA player from the decade are all earning one more award to their college men’s volleyball careers.

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

The MIVA All-Decade Team recognizes the top players to compete in the conference since the 2010 season. The MIVA during this 10-year span led the nation with four national championships and every season had at least one team advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Lewis, the MIVA champions in 2012 and 2019, led all schools with seven MIVA All-Decade selections. The three-time NCAA champions Ohio State had six players make the All-Decade Team, while the two-time NCAA champions Loyola finished with five earning All-Decade accolades.

The voting committee for this All-Decade Team was comprised of MIVA 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 MIVA All-Decade Team, Off the Block will present the National All-Decade Team later this month.

MIVA First-Team All-Decade

Setter: BJ Boldog, Lewis
Setter: Steven Kehoe, Ohio State
Opposite: Miles Johnson, Ohio State
Opposite: Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State
Opposite: Joe Smalzer, Loyola
Outside attacker: Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
Outside attacker: Geoff Powell, Lewis
Outside attacker: Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Libero: Luis Bertran, Purdue Fort Wayne

MIVA Second-Team All-Decade

Setter: Christy Blough, Ohio State
Setter: Peter Hutz, Loyola
Setter: Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis
Opposite: Eric Fitterer, Lewis
Outside attacker: Cody Caldwell, Loyola
Outside attacker: Ryan Coenen, Lewis
Outside attacker: Jay Petty, Lewis
Outside attacker: Pelegrin Vargas, Purdue Fort Wayne
Middle attacker: Bobby Walsh, Lewis
Middle attacker: Matt Walsh, Ball State
Libero: Mik Berzins, Ohio State

MIVA All-Decade First-Team player bios

Luis Bertran, Purdue Fort Wayne (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2015 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2016 Erik Shoji Award finalist, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Bertran set the school record with a 938 career digs and averaged more than 2.00 digs per game in all four seasons. The libero in 2016 was eighth in the nation with a 2.57 digs per game average and had double-digit digs in 16 matches that season. This also was the second consecutive that Bertran led the MIVA in digs. Bertran in 2015 was sixth in the nation with a conference-best 2.56 digs per game average, including a team-high 13 digs in a rivalry road win against Ball State.

Christy Blough, Ohio State (2014-17)
Awards and honors:
2015 All-MIVA Second Team, 2016 All-American Second Team, 2016 Lloy Ball Award finalist, 2016 All-MIVA First Team, 2016 All-MIVA Tournament Team, 2017 All-American Second Team, 2017 Lloy Ball Award finalist, 2017 All-NCAA Tournament Team, 2017 All-MIVA First Team, 2017 All-MIVA Tournament Team, 2017 Big Ten Medal of Honor Winner, 2017 Elite 90 Winner
Player bio: Blough quarterbacked the Buckeyes to back-to-back national titles in 2016 and 2017. His 4,280 career assists ranks fifth in program history, while his career 10.86 assists per game ranks eighth. The current medical school student and former Ohio State men’s volleyball volunteer coach ranked in the top five nationally in assists per game during each of his final three seasons, topping out at second in the country in 2016 with 11.21 assists per game. The Buckeyes ranked second nationally with a .350 attack percentage and .365 attack percentage in 2016 and 2017.

BJ Boldog, Lewis (2011-14)
Awards and honors:
2011 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-American, 2012 First-Team All-MIVA, 2012 MIVA All-Tournament, 2013 Second-Team All-American, 2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament, 2014 Second-Team All-American, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament
Player bio: Boldog set the program’s rally scoring era record with 4,385 career assists in his four seasons as the team’s starting setter. In his senior season, Boldog guided the offense to the nation’s third-best attack percentage at .328 as the Flyers became the second non-West Coast team in college men’s volleyball history to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. He also led Lewis to a national top five attack percentage at .321 in 2012 and helped the team win its first MIVA championship in almost a decade. Along with his offensive performance, Boldog finished ninth in program history with 338 career blocks.

Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola (2013-15)
Awards and honors:
2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2014 MIVA Player of the Year, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 National Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-American, 2015 Off the Block National Server of the Year, 2015 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2015 MIVA Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Jaeschke as a junior — his final year at Loyola before declaring pro — finished fifth in the nation with a career-best 4.04 kills per game average and led the country with a 0.57 aces per game average. In addition, the outside attacker had both a team-high 20 kills and three aces in Loyola’s five-game overtime victory against Lewis in the NCAA Tournament finals. Jaeschke in 2014 was in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.73 kills per game average and a career-best .397 attack percentage as Loyola won its first national title in program history. The outside attacker also concluded his three-year career seventh in program history with a .371 attack percentage.

Jeff Jendryk, Loyola (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2015 National Newcomer of the Year, 2015 Off the Block Freshman All-American, 2015 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2015 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2016 Second-Team All-American, 2016 Ryan Millar Award finalists, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA, 2017 First-Team All-American, 2017 Ryan Millar Award finalist, 2017 Off the Block National Blocker of the Year finalist, 2017 First-Team All-MIVA, 2018 First-Team All-American, 2018 Ryan Millar Award finalist, 2018 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Jendryk finished each of his final three seasons in the nation’s top five for attack percentage and remains second in program history with a .449 career attack percentage. As a freshman, Jendryk had a season-high 17 kills while hitting .500 in a five-game victory against Lewis in the 2015 NCAA Tournament finals. Jendryk during his senior season was second in the nation with a .457 attack percentage and had double-digit kills in 10 matches. The future U.S. Men’s National Team middle attacker also was third in program history with 424 career blocks, including being seventh in the nation with a 1.16 blocks per game average in 2017.

Miles Johnson, Ohio State (2014-17)
Awards and honors:
2015 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2016 First-Team All-American, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA, 2016 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2016 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2016 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2017 First-Team All-American, 2017 First-Team All-MIVA, 2017 Bryan Ivie Award finalist, 2017 MIVA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2017 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Johnson concluded his college career second in program history with 160 aces and seventh with 1,351 kills. The opposite in his senior season was in the nation’s top 10 with both a 3.98 kills per game average on a career-high .329 as helped the Buckeyes win their second consecutive national championship. This was the second consecutive season that Jones was among the national leaders with kills. Johnson ended the 2016 season in the country’s top 15 with a 3.72 kills per game average. He also had a combined 52 kills in the NCAA Tournament, including a match-high 15 kills in the team’s NCAA Tournament finals victory against BYU.

Steven Kehoe, Ohio State (2008-11)
Awards and honors this decade:
2010 MIVA Player of the Year, 2010 Second-Team All-American, 2010 First-Team All-MIVA, 2010 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2011 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2011 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2011 MIVA Player of the Year, 2011 First-Team All-American, 2011 First-Team All-MIVA, 2011 MIVA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2011 MIVA All-Tournament Team,
Player bio: Kehoe finished his senior season leading the MIVA and fourth in the nation with an 11.56 assists per game average. The setter also guided the offense to the fourth best attack percentage in the nation at .343 en route to the Buckeyes winning their third consecutive conference title and first NCAA championship in program history. Kehoe in the NCAA Tournament finals led Ohio State to a .329 attack percentage, including hitting .714 in the decisive fifth game, as it defeated UC Santa Barbara. In addition, Kehoe the previous season guided the Buckeyes to a .300 attack percentage and a NCAA Tournament semifinals appearance.

Geoff Powell, Lewis (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2012 MIVA Freshman of the Year, 2012 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2012 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2013 Second-Team All-American, 2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2015 First-Team All-American, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Powell is fourth all-time in program history and second during the rally scoring era with 1,368 career kills. The outside attacker finished each of his final three seasons in the nation’s top 30 for kills, including having a career-high 3.89 kills per game average in 2014. Powell was in the conference’s top 10 as a junior and senior hitting more than .325. He also led the Flyers to three NCAA Tournament appearances and had 20 kills and two aces in the 2015 NCAA Tournament finals.

Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State (2009-12)
Awards and honors this decade:
2010 All-MIVA First Team, 2010 All-MIVA Tournament Team, 2010 All-American Honorable Mention, 2011 All-MIVA First Team, 2011 All-MIVA Tournament Team, 2011 All-NCAA Tournament Team, 2012 All-MIVA First Team, 2012 MIVA Player of the Year, 2012 All-MIVA Tournament Team, 2012 All-American First Team
Player bio: Sangrey’s 548 kills in 2012 ranks as third-best in program history for kills in a single season, while his 5.03 kills per set that season ranks as eighth-best. That 5.03 kills per game also was tops in the nation that year, while his .277 attack percentage led the team. His 1,441 career kills and 4.14 kills per game average both rank fourth in program history. His 103 career aces and 0.30 aces per game both rank seventh in program history.

Joseph Smalzer, Loyola (2011-14)
Awards and honors: 2011 First-Team All-MIVA, 2011 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2012 Second-Team All-American, 2012 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 Second-Team All-American, 2013 MIVA Player of the Year, 2013 Off the Block National Server of the Year 2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 Off the Block National Server of the Year, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2014 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Smalzer set the Loyola record with 234 career aces — nearly 100 more aces than any other player in program history. The opposite had a nation-best 0.65 aces per game average in 2013 as he helped lead the Ramblers to a MIVA championship. Smalzer during his senior season also was second in the nation averaging 0.64 aces per game, including having two aces in a NCAA Tournament semifinals victory against Penn State. Along with his serving, Smalzer is fourth in program history with 1,424 career kills. Highlighting his offensive performances was finishing sixth in the nation with a 3.81 kills per game average in 2013.

Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2015 Freshman All-American, 2015 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 MIVA Freshman of the Year, 2015 All-MIVA First Team, 2016 National Player of the Year, 2016 Karch Kiraly Award, 2016 All-American First Team, 2016 MIVA Player of the Year, 2016 All-MIVA First Team, 2016 All-MIVA Tournament, 2016 MIVA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2016 All-NCAA Tournament, 2017 All-American First Team, 2017 International Player of the Year, 2017 National Server of the Year, 2017 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2017 MIVA Player of the Year, 2017 All-MIVA First Team, 2017 All-MIVA Tournament, 2017 All-NCAA Tournament, 2017 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2018 International Player of the Year, 2018 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2018 National Server of the Year, 2018 All-American First Team, 2018 MIVA Player of the Year, 2018 All-MIVA First Team, 2018 All-MIVA Tournament, 2018 MIVA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2018 All-NCAA Tournament
Player bio: The honors continue for one of the most decorated players of the decade. Szerszen never ranked outside of the top four nationally in terms of aces per game during his final three seasons as a Buckeye. He has the top three marks for most aces and most aces per game in a single season in program history. He never ranked outside of the top-12 nationally in terms of attack percentage and kills per game during his final three seasons. He twice had six aces in a single match, which ties for fifth best in program history for most aces in a single match. His 513 kills in Player of the Year season ranks fourth in program history for most kills in a single season. His 783 career digs ranks third in program history while his .373 career attack percentage ranks 11th. In addition, his 1,678 kills ranks as best in program history, regardless of era. On top of that, his 238 career aces is 78 more than the player with the second most in program history.

MIVA All-Decade Second-Team player bios

Mik Berzins, Ohio State (2019-12)
Awards and honors this decade:
2012 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Berzins played both libero and outside attacker throughout his college career and remains the Ohio State record holder with 902 career digs. In addition, the libero had two seasons with more than 225 digs — both in the school’s single-season top 10 for digs. Among his biggest matches included having 10 digs as Ohio State defeated UC Santa Barbara in five games in the 2011 NCAA Tournament finals. Berzins at outside attacker the following year finished his senior season in the conference’s top 20 with a career-high 2.46 kills per game average.

Cody Caldwell, Loyola (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2014 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2015 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team,
Player bio: Caldwell finished his junior season in the nation’s top 30 with both a 3.40 kills per game average and a .345 attack percentage as he helped the Ramblers win their first NCAA championship in program history. In addition, the outside attacker had a match-high 20 kills on a .562 attack percentage in the team’s victory against Stanford in the NCAA Tournament finals. Caldwell the following season averaged 2.99 kills per game and helped guide Loyola to back-to-back national championships. Along with his offensive performance, Caldwell had more than 100 digs in every season and had more than 500 career digs.

Ryan Coenen, Lewis (2016 – present)
Awards and honors:
2017 National Newcomer of the Year, 2017 Second-Team All-American, 2017 Freshman All-American, 2017 Co-MIVA Freshman of the Year, 2017 First-Team All-MIVA, 2017 MIVA All-Freshman Team, 2018 Second-Team All-American, 2018 Division II National Player of the Year finalist, 2018 First-Team All-MIVA, 2019 Second-Team All-American, 2019 First-Team All-MIVA, 2019 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: With one season remaining in his college career, Coenen has already become the 10th player in program history to surpass the 1,000th career kills milestone. The outside attacker finished the 2018 season leading the conference and ninth in the nation with a 3.79 kills per game average, including having a season-high 21 kills on a .514 attack percentage in a regular season sweep against Ohio State. Conen also ended last season among the MIVA and national leaders averaging 3.25 kills per game en route to helping the Flyers reach the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Along with his offensive performance, Coenen is eighth in program history with 99 aces.

Eric Fitterer, Lewis (2012-15)
Awards and honors:
2015 Second-Team All-American, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team, NCAA Elite 90 Award, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Fitterer in his senior season had a career-best 2.71 kills per game average and was eighth in the nation with a 0.44 aces per game average as the Flyers reached the NCAA Tournament finals. In addition, the opposite had a season-high six aces in a regular season victory against then-No. 1 Loyola. Fitterer in the previous season averaged 2.04 kills per game average, including a team-high 13 kills while hitting .360 in a NCAA Tournament play-in match loss to Penn State.

Peter Hutz, Loyola (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 Second-Team All-American, 2015 Lloy Ball Award finalist, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2016 All-American Honorable Mention, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Hutz guided Loyola to the nation’s best attack percentage in back-to-back seasons en route to winning back-to-back national championships. Hunt in 2014 was third in the country with an 11.42 assists per game average as he guided the Ramblers offense to a .366 attack percentage, including the team hitting .452 in its NCAA Tournament finals victory. The Ramblers also hit .350 and Hutz averaged 11.26 assists per game during the team’s 2015 championship season. Along with his offensive performance, Hutz had more than 600 career digs and 200 career blocks.

Jay Petty, Lewis (2010-13)
Awards and honors:
2011 First-Team All-MIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-American, 2012 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2012 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2012 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Petty ended his college career in the program’s top 10 all-time with both 1,205 career kills and 100 career aces. The outside attacker was sixth in the nation with a 4.01 kills per game average during his junior season, including having a season-high 25 kills to help Lewis beat Ohio State in the MIVA Tournament finals. This was the sixth match that season Petty had at least 20 kills. In addition, Petty the previous season was in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.88 kills per game average.

Pelegrin Vargas, Purdue Fort Wayne (2017 – present)
Awards and honors:
2017 MIVA All-Freshman Team, 2017 All-MIVA Honorable Mention, 2018 First-Team All-MIVA, 2019 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Vargas finished last season in the nation’s top 10 with a 3.83 kills per game average on a career-best .280 attack percentage and was in the MIVA’s top 10 averaging 1.74 digs per game. This was the third consecutive year that Puerto Rican Men’s National Team member was in the conference top 10 for kills. Vargas in 2017 also was third in the conference and in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.75 kills per game average, including a season-high 25 kills on a .676 attack percentage in a victory against Lindenwood.

Bobby Walsh, Lewis (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2013 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2014 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2015 National Blocker of the Year, 2015 Second-Team All-American, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2016 First-Team All-American, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA, 2016 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Walsh holds the program record with a .474 career attack percentage and holds the program’s rally scoring era record 556 career blocks. In each of his four seasons, Walsh hit more than .450 and had more than 125 blocks. The middle attacker in 2015 lead the nation with a 1.54 blocks per game average and had a career-best .490 attack percentage as Lewis reached the NCAA Tournament finals. This also was the second straight season that Walsh finished in the nation’s top five for blocks.

Matt Walsh, Ball State (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2015 National Blocker of the Year finalist, 2017 Ryan Millar Award finalist, 2017 National Blocker of the Year finalist, 2017 All-American Honorable Mention, 2017 First-Team All-MIVA, 2018 National Blocker of the Year finalist, 2018 All-American Honorable Mention, 2018 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Walsh remains second in program history during the rally scoring era with 504 career blocks. The middle attacker finished three seasons in the nation’s top 10 for blocks highlighted by being third in the country with a career-best 1.39 blocks per game average as a freshman. Walsh had at least a .350 attack percentage in each of his four seasons, including leading the nation with a .449 attack percentage in 2017. Along with his offensive and defensive performances, Walsh ranks fourth at Ball State in the rally scoring era with 95 career aces.

Matt Yoshimoto, Lewis (2016-19)
Awards and honors:
2017 All-American Honorable Mention, 2017 First-Team All-MIVA, 2018 All-American Honorable Mention, 2018 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2019 Division II National Player of the Year, 2019 Co-National Server of the Year, 2019 MIVA Player of the Year, 2019 Second-Team All-American, 2019 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2019 First-Team All-MIVA
Player bio: Yoshimoto ended last season seventh in the nation with a 9.98 assists per game average as Lewis led the conference and was eighth in the country with a .317 attack percentage. In addition, Yoshimoto was third in the nation averaging 0.61 aces per game en route to helping the Flyers reach the NCAA Tournament finals. The three-year starting setter concluded his college career fifth in program history with 3,293 assists and second in program history with 146 career aces.