National award to be renamed in honor of former Ohio State great Szerszen

Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University athletics

A college men’s volleyball annual national award will be renamed after a player who led Ohio State to back-to-back NCAA championships.

Off the Block announced Sunday that the International Player of the Year will now be called Nicolas Szerszen Award in honor of the three-time MIVA Player of the Year and All-American.

The International Player of the Year was established in 2017 and is presented to the best non-U.S. born player in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season. A nationwide voting committee of college men’s volleyball coaches and media members determines the winner of the award.

Szerszen was the inaugural winner of this award en route to leading the Buckeyes to their second consecutive NCAA championship. The French outside attacker concluded his college career the following year winning the award again and guiding the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Szerszen, the MIVA Player of the Decade and 2016 National Player of the Year, set the Ohio State career records with both 1,678 kills and 238 aces. He also was third in school history with 783 career digs, the most for any non-libero, and was in the program’s top 15 with a .373 career attack percentage.

The naming of the International Player of the Year award after Szerszen was done in an effort to preserve and honor the history of college men’s volleyball.

The Nicolas Szerszen 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 will be named Nicolas Szerszen Award finalists. The individual who receives the most votes will be the winner of the Nicolas Szerszen 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.