Off the Block to present Steve Shondell Award for best passer in college men’s volleyball

Photo courtesy of Ball State athletics

There will now be an annual college men’s volleyball award named in honor of a Hall of Famer to recognize the best at serve reception.

Off the Block announced Monday that it will present this season the inaugural Steve Shondell Award to the best passer in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.

The Steve Shondell Award is the first national award in college men’s volleyball to recognize the skill of efficiently receiving a serve and keeping a team’s offense in-system. The naming of this award after the former standout Ball State setter and Hall of Fame coach was done in an effort to preserve and honor the history of college men’s volleyball.

Shondell helped lead Ball State to three consecutive MIVA regular season championships and earned back-to-back First-Team All-MIVA honors in 1976 and 1977.


Shondell following his time at Ball State began a coaching career that spanned five decades, and he emerged as one of the nation’s experts in passing techniques and teaching service reception.

The AVCA Hall of Fame and Ball State Hall of Fame inductee guided the Burris girl’s volleyball team to 21 Indiana high school state championships and accumulated more than 1,200 career wins. He also spent six seasons as the head coach of the Ball State women’s volleyball team and led the Cardinals to a NCAA Tournament appearance and three 20-win seasons.

Along with serving as a head coach for these teams, Shondell has been a fixture with the Ball State men’s volleyball team throughout his entire coaching career. Shondell served as an assistant coach under his father Hall of Fame coach Don Shondell and has privately trained numerous Cardinals.

The Steve Shondell Award is one of several end of season awards that Off the Block annually presents. Among the other national awards includes the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, the Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, the Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero and the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker.

The top-three vote-getters from the nationwide voting committee of coaches and media members will be named award finalists. The individual who receives the most votes will be the winner of the Steve Shondell Award.

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.