BYU, Hawai’i, Lewis outside attackers named finalists for 2020 Karch Kiraly Award

Photo courtesy of Lewis athletics

A nationwide voting committee has selected Lewis outside attacker Ryan Coenen, Hawai’i outside attacker Colton Cowell and BYU outside attacker Davide Gardini as finalists for the annual Karch Kiraly Award.

The Karch Kiraly Award, which is named after the former UCLA All-American and U.S. Olympian, is presented to the nation’s best outside attacker in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.

Off the Block announced the finalists on Thursday and will unveil the award winner next week as part of its College Men’s Volleyball National Awards Presentation.

Coenen was in the nation’s top 15 with a 4.00 kills per game average on a career-best .330 attack percentage. The MIVA Player of the Year had double-digit kills in all but four matches, including a season-high 23 kills on a .543 attack percentage in a road victory against Stanford days before the rest of the season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cowell finished among the national leaders with both a 3.77 kills per game average and a .362 attack percentage as the Rainbow Warriors finished No. 2 in both the national coaches poll and national media poll. Among his top performances included 11 kills and zero errors on a .611 attack percentage along with a season-high three aces in a road sweep against Stanford.

Gardini was in the nation’s top 20 and second among all outside attackers with a .370 attack percentage, while being in the country’s top 25 averaging 3.61 kills per game. The sophomore defensively was second among all outside attackers averaging both 1.97 digs per game and 0.91 blocks per game en route to BYU ending the shortened season No. 1 in the national coaches poll and national media poll.

The voting committee for the Karch Kiraly Award was comprised of about 25 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

The top three vote-getters were named finalists for the Karch Kiraly Award.

This is the sixth year that Off the Block has presented the Karch Kiraly Award. Previous winners of the award include former Penn State All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell in 2015, former Ohio State All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen in 2016 and Long Bach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco DeFalco the last three years.

The Karch Kiraly is one of several end of season awards presented by Off the Block. Among the other national awards includes the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, 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.

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.

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