A nationwide voting committee selected CSUN outside attacker Dimitar Kalchev, UC Irvine setter Michael Saeta and Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen as finalists for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year.
The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year is an annual award that started in 2013 and recognizes the top individual serving performance from a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player during the regular season.
Kalchev finished the regular season leading the MPSF with 63 aces — one more than Saeta — and tied for second in the nation with a 0.63 aces per game average. The two-time finalist for National Server of the Year had an ace in all but three matches this year, including a season-high six aces in a five-game loss to No. 10 USC in February.
Saeta, also a two-time award finalist, was tied with Kalchev for the MPSF lead and second in the nation with a 0.63 aces per average. In addition, Saeta had at least three aces in 13 regular season matches and added a team-high two aces in an upset victory against No. 2/2 Ohio State in March.
Szerszen led the nation in the regular season with both 66 aces and a 0.65 aces per game average. The 2017 MIVA Player of the Year had multiple aces in 13 regular season matches against nationally ranked teams as No. 2/2 Ohio State won the MIVA regular season championship.
The voting committee for the National Server of the Year was comprised of about 25 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation.
The top three vote-getters were named finalists for the National Server of the Year. The overall winner and voting results of the National Server of the Year will be announced Thursday, April 27.
This is the fifth year that Off the Block and Springbak, Inc. have presented the National Server of the Year. Previous winners of the award include former Loyola All-American opposite Joseph Smalzer in 2013 and 2014, former Loyla All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke in 2015 and UCLA setter Micah Ma’a in 2016.
Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.
Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2017 National Server 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.
OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. NATIONAL SERVER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN
Michael Saeta, UC Irvine
Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State