After five days and almost 10,000 online votes, the four-player field is set for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Fan Choice Player of the Year Championship Round.
The Fan Choice Player of the Year is an annual 65-player bracket-style tournament recognizes the best individual performances from NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players during the season and gives volleyball fans from around the world the chance decide the winner through online voting.
UC Irvine outside attacker Kevin Tillie, IPFW outside attacker Eddie Rivera, Penn State setter Taylor Hammond and Pfeiffer outside attacker Caleb Brophy each won their regional finals Sunday to advance to the Springbak, Inc. Championship Round.
The online polls are now open for the championship round and voting ends at 11 p.m. (EST) Friday. The player receiving the most votes will be to the 2013 Fan Choice Player of the Year.
This is the third-year of the Fan Choice Player of the Year. Several volleyball organizations present National Player of the Year awards, but this contest is the only National Player of the Year award solely decided by the fans through online voting.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the championship round. Springbak, Inc. 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.
No. 1 seed Kevin Tillie, UC Irvine
Tillie finished in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.73 kills per game average and a 0.32 aces per game average. The senior also was a First-Team All-American selection as he helped lead the Anteaters to their second consecutive national championship.
No. 7 seed Caleb Brophy, Pfeiffer
Brophy, the 2013 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, led the nation with a 4.24 kills per game average and had a school-high 30 kills in the Conference Carolinas championship match. The senior also was a First-Team Conference Carolinas selection as he led Pfeiffer to its second consecutive conference championship.
No. 10 seed Eddie Rivera, IPFW
Rivera led IPFW and was in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.19 kills per game average. The junior also earned First-Team All-MIVA honors as IPFW finished the regular season in seventh place and reached the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals.
No. 14 seed Taylor Hammond, Penn State
Hammond led the EIVA and was third in the nation with a 10.97 assists per game average. The freshman also earned Second-Team All-EIVA honors as Penn State won its 15th consecutive EIVA championship and reached the NCAA Tournament.