It’s all about the numbers — particularly the number on the jersey.
Off the Block is unveiling the best player to wear each jersey number in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the 25-point rally scoring era.
The latest installment in this summer series examines the best to don the No. 11 jersey. Check out Off the Block throughout June as it continues to reveal the best in the sport to wear each number.
Best player to wear No. 11
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State (2016-19)
Awards and honors: National Player of the Decade, First-Team All-Decade, 2016 Freshman All-American, 2016 All-MPSF Freshman Team, 2016 MPSF Freshman of the Year, 2016 All-MPSF First Team, 2016 AVCA Newcomer of the Year, 2016 All-American First Team, 2017 Karch Kiraly Award, 2017 All-MPSF First Team, 2017 MPSF Player of the Year, 2017 All-American First Team, 2017 National Player of the Year, 2018 Karch Kiraly Award, 2018 All-Big West First Team, 2018 Big West Player of the Year, 2018 All-NCAA Tournament Team, 2018 All-American First Team, 2019 Karch Kiraly Award, 2019 All-Big West First Team, 2019 All-NCAA Tournament Team, 2019 All-American First Team, 2019 National Player of the Year, 2019 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Player bio: The four-time All-American and two-time National Player of the Year led Long Beach State to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2018-19. DeFalco concluded his time at Long Beach State with a program record 183 aces and was fifth in school history with 1,661 career kills. As a sophomore, DeFalco was sixth in the nation with a 3.99 kills per game average en route to winning the National Player of the Year and his first of three consecutive Karch Kiraly Awards as the nation’s top outside attacker. DeFalco the following year led Long Beach State to its first national championship in almost 30 years and was in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.62 kills per game average and a .377 attack percentage. The outside attacker had at least 15 kills in 10 matches that season, including 18 kills while hitting .419 and a team-high 12 digs in the NCAA Tournament finals against UCLA. In his final college season, DeFalco continued to be among the nation’s leaders with both a career-best .397 attack percentage and a 3.52 kills per game average.
Best players to wear No. 11 by conference
Big West: TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
ConfCarolinas: Mike Michelau, Erskine
EIVA: Alvaro Gimeno, NJIT
MIVA: Blake Leeson, Ohio State
MPSF: Brook Sedore, Hawai’i
Independents: Jesse Donorovich, Daemen
Honorable mentions: Antwain Aguillard, Long Beach State; Chrstian Janke, Grand Canyon; Mark Jones, George Mason; Matt Jones, Harvard; Scott Kevorken, UC Irvine; Jon Wheaton, King