Penn State outside Russell wins 2015 Karch Kiraly Award

A nationwide voting committee selected Penn State outside attacker Aaron Russell as the inaugural recipient of the Karch Kiraly Award.

Off the Block announced Tuesday that Russell won the newest college men’s volleyball national award given to the best outside attacker in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.

Russell, the 2014 EIVA Player of the Year, finished the regular season leading the EIVA and second in the nation with a 4.63 kills per game averaging, including having at least 20 kills in seven matches. The All-American senior also had a nation-best 51 aces as Penn State won the EIVA regular season championship.


Russell received 65 votes and 16 first-place votes to beat-out the runner-up Loyola outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke by seven votes for the Karch Kiraly Award. In addition, UC Irvine outside attacker Tamir Hershko finished in third place with 21 votes, while Pepperdine outside attacker Josh Taylor earned 19 votes.

The voting committee for the Karch Kiraly Award was comprised of more than 30 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation. The annual award is named after the former U.S. Olympian and UCLA All-American outside attacker Karch Kiraly.

The Karch Kiraly Award is one of several end of season awards presented by Off the Block. Among the other national awards includes the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, the Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year and the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year.

Off the Block is a national award winning college men’s volleyball website that launched in January 2011.

1. Aaron Russell, Penn State — 65 (16) votes
2. Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola — 58 (9) votes
3. Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine — 21 (2) votes
4. Josh Taylor, Pepperdine — 19 (2) votes
T-5. Geoff Powell, Lewis — 9 (1) votes
T-5. Brady Markle, Lees-McRae — 9 (1) votes
7. Sinisa Zarkovic — 5 (1) votes
8. Enzo Mackenzie — 4 (1) votes
9. Alex Harthaller — 3 (1) votes
T-10. Sam Holt, CSUN — 2 votes
T-10. Greg Petty, Lewis — 2 votes
T-12. Kevin Donohue, UC Santa Barbara — 1 vote
T-12. Jake Langlois, BYU — 1 vote
T-12. Nicolas Szerszen — 1 vote