Off the Block announced on Monday the recipients of the National Position Player of the Week Awards and the National Freshman of the Week.
The National Position Player of the Week Awards recognize the libero, middle attacker, opposite, outside attacker and setter who had the best performances in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the week. In addition, the National Player of the Week is presented to the top freshman from the week in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.
The Off the Block staff determines each award recipient. The winners are announced every Monday during the regular season on the Off the Block website, offtheblockblog.com.
While there are other weekly national awards in college men’s volleyball, these are the only position-based and freshman-based weekly awards.
Off the Block at the end of the season presents the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker and the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero. It also presents the Freshmen All-American Team at the end of the regular season.
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 Weekly National Award recipients
National Setter of the Week: Kevin Kauling, Lewis
National Opposite of the Week:Gabi Garcia Fernandez, BYU
National Outside Attacker of the Week: Jerod Nelson, Princeton
National Middle Attacker of the Week: Scott Stadick, UC Irvine
National Libero of the Week: Michal Podgorzak, Limestone
National Freshman of the Week: Michael Wright, Ohio State
Gabi Garcia Fernandez, BYU
Fernandez had a combined 30 kills in a two-match weekend series sweep of No. 3/3 UC Santa Barbara, including having a match-high 18 kills and zero errors on a .529 attack percentage in the series opener. Among his seven aces during the series the opposite in the finale had the game-winning ace in a fourth-game overtime and the match-winning ace in the decisive fifth game. In addition, Fernandez defensively had 10 digs in both matches to help No. 2/2 BYU remain undefeated.
Kevin Kauling, Lewis
Kauling had 31 assists and led the offense to a .532 attack percentage as No. 6/5 Lewis swept the defending ConfCarolinas champions Barton on Friday. In addition, Kauling had a match-high three aces to go along with 44 assists and guiding the offense to hit .437 in a sweep against No. 12 George Mason on Saturday.
Jerod Nelson, Princeton
Nelson finished with a combined 43 kills and hit more than .350 in all three matches during Princeton’s West Coast road trip last week. The outside attacker finished with 13 kills on a .550 attack percentage and had a season-high six digs as Princeton upset No. 8/8 UCLA on Thursday for the team’s first all-time win against the Bruins. He also had a season-high 20 kills in a four-game loss to No. 15 UC San Diego on Tuesday.
Michal Podgorzak, Limestone
Podgorzak led all players with a season-high 22 digs in a five-game conference loss to Emmanuel on Friday. The libero also had five digs in a sweep against St. Andrews on Wednesday that extended the team’s winning streak to four matches.
Scott Stadick, UC Irvine
Stadick had a match-high 10 blocks along with 11 kills on a .348 attack percentage to help No. 57/7 UC Irvine defeat its cross-town rival No. 13 Concordia-Irvine in four games on Thursday. The middle attacker also had a season-high 11 blocks in a four-game victory against USC on Saturday.
Michael Wright, Ohio State
Wright finished with 35 assists and guided the offense to a .427 attack percentage as Ohio State on the road swept No. 7/6 Penn State on Saturday. The setter also had a season-high six blocks and helped Ohio State hit .359 in a sweep against Saint Francis on Friday.