A nationwide voting committee selected UC Santa Barbara middle attacker Dylan Davis, Long Beach State middle attacker Taylor Gregory and Ball State middle attacker Matt Leske as finalists for the 2013 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year is annually awarded to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player with the best front-row defensive performance during the regular season.
Davis led the nation with 151 total blocks and was third in the nation with a 1.37 blocks per game average. The junior also had three matches with double-digit blocks — including a season-high 14 blocks in a road victory against USC — as he helped the Gauchos reach the postseason for first time since 2011 when they advanced to the NCAA championship match.
As a redshirt freshman, Gregory started in 24 matches for the 49ers and led the nation with a 1.42 blocks per game average. In addition, Gregory had a season-high 11 blocks in a late-season victory against Cal Baptist that helped Long Beach State eventually clinch the No. 3 seed for the upcoming MPSF Tournament.
Leske was second in the nation with a 1.40 blocks per game average and tied Davis for the third most solo blocks in the nation at 21. The junior also earned MIVA Defensive Player of the Week honors four times during the regular season as Ball State achieved its first 20-win season in five years and a top-10 national ranking.
This is the third year of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year. Previous winners include BYU All-American middle attacker Futi Tavana in 2011 and USC middle attacker Robert Feathers in 2012.
The voting committee for this award was comprised of more than 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The overall winner of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year will be announced Tuesday.
Off the Block is a website that launched in January 2011 and has become among the nation’s leading media outlets for college men’s volleyball news and analysis. Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2013 National Server of the Year and 2013 National Blocker of the Year and produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB and U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.
VOTING RESULTS (Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year)
Finalists (listed in alphabetical order)
Dylan Davis, UC Santa Barbara
Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State
Matt Leske, Ball State
Others receiving votes
Rusty Lavaja, BYU; Grayson Overman, Ohio State; Collin Mehring, UC Irvine; Michael Hatch, BYU; Kevin Owens, Ball State; Adam Roche, St. Francis; Spencer Rowe, UCLA; Bobby Walsh, Lewis; Tommy Carmody, Pacific; Nikola Antonijevic, Pepperdine; Parker Kalmbach, Pepperdine