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. 17 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. 17
Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola (2013-15)
Awards and honors: 2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2014 MIVA Player of the Year, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 National Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-American, 2015 Off the Block National Server of the Year, 2015 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2015 MIVA Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Player bio: Jaeschke as a junior — his final year at Loyola before declaring pro — finished fifth in the nation with a career-best 4.04 kills per game average and led the country with a 0.57 aces per game average. In addition, the outside attacker had both a team-high 20 kills and three aces in Loyola’s five-game overtime victory against Lewis in the NCAA Tournament finals. Jaeschke in 2014 was in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.73 kills per game average and a career-best .397 attack percentage as Loyola won its first national title in program history. The outside attacker also concluded his three-year career seventh in program history with a .371 attack percentage.
Best players to wear No. 17 by conference
Big West: Colton Cowell, Hawai’i
ConfCarolinas: Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton
EIVA: Joe Sunder, Penn State
MIVA: Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
MPSF: Futi Tavana, BYU
Independents: Dominick Pikura, St. Francis Brooklyn
Honorable mentions: Christian Hessenauer, UCLA; Zack La Cavera, UC Irvine; Henrik Falck Lauten, Penn State; Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, Long Beach State; Alex Pia, Ball State