A nationwide voting committee selected 10 players to the annual Off the Block Freshmen All-American Team that was unveiled Monday.
The Off the Block Freshmen All-American Team honors the top NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball freshmen players from the regular season. This is the eighth year Off the Block has presented the national honor, which remains the only Freshmen All-American Team presented in college men’s volleyball.
UCLA was the only team in the nation to have multiple players make the Freshmen All-American Team. Grand Canyon, Hawai’i, Lewis, Long Beach State, Loyola, NJIT, Ohio State and Tusculum each had one freshman earn the national honor.
Players eligible for the Off the Block Freshmen All-American Team had to be listed on the roster as a freshman or redshirt freshman for a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.
A voting committee of 21 men’s volleyball coaches and volleyball media members determined the Freshmen All-American Team. A player making the Freshmen All-American Team had to be among the top 10 vote-getters and appear on at least one-fourth of all the fully submitted voting ballots.
Grand Canyon outside attacker Camden Gianni led all players being included on all but one ballot. In addition, Long Beach State libero Mason Briggs finished with the second-most votes.
Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.
Off the Block annually presents college men’s volleyball national awards to recognize outstanding individual performances in the sport. Along with the Freshmen All-American Team, Off the Block during the regular season presents the National Freshman of the Week.
2020 Off the Block Freshmen All-American Team
Setter: Kevin Kauling, Lewis
Setter: Mads Kyed Jensen, UCLA
Setter: Michael Wright, Ohio State
Opposite: Cole Ketrzynski, UCLA
Opposite: Julian Meissner, NJIT
Outside attacker: Camden Gianni, Grand Canyon
Outside attacker: Matteo Miselli, Tusculum
Outside attacker: Cole Schlothauer, Loyola
Middle attacker: Guilherme Voss, Hawai’i
Libero: Mason Briggs, Long Beach State
Freshman All-American player bios
Mason Briggs, Long Beach State
Briggs was second in the Big West and in the nation’s top 15 with a 2.24 digs per game average, including having a season-high 15 digs in a five-game victory against UCLA. In addition, Briggs as one of Long Beach State’s primary passers committed seven reception errors the entire season.
Camden Gianni, Grand Canyon
Gianni a year removed from missing the entire season because of heart surgery finished third among all freshmen and among the national leaders with a 3.49 kills per game average, including having at least 15 kills in five matches. He also was in the nation’s top 20 with a 0.43 aces per game average and had a season-high four aces in an upset victory against UCLA.
Kevin Kauling, Lewis
Kauling was in the nation’s top 15 with a 9.89 assists per game average and guided Lewis to the fourth-best attack percentage in the nation at .344. The setter also helped Lewis hit more than .400 in four conference matches en route to finishing in first place in the MIVA.
Cole Ketrzynski, UCLA
Ketrzynski was in the top 10 for freshmen with a 3.00 kills per game average and had at least 15 kills in five matches. Among his top performances included a season-high 17 kills on a .400 attack percentage in a non-conference victory against Ohio State.
Mads Kyed Jensen, UCLA
Kyed Jensen was third in the nation with a 0.60 aces per game average and had multiple aces in 10 matches. The setter guided the Bruins to finish the season in the nation’s top 10 with a .302 attack percentage and had at least five kills in 10 matches.
Julian Meissner, NJIT
Meissner was in the top 10 for freshmen with both a 2.98 kills per game average and a 0.89 blocks per game average. Among his top performances included a season-high 16 kills and zero errors on a .615 attack percentage in a season finale road sweep against Princeton.
Matteo Miselli, Tusculum
Miselli was in the nation’s top 15 and led all freshmen with a 3.92 kills per game average, including having a match-high 25 kills along with three aces in a five-game road victory against Urbana. He also was in the nation’s top 15 with a 0.51 aces per game average during Tusculum’s inaugural season.
Cole Schlothauer, Loyola
Schlothauer was fourth in the MIVA and second among all freshmen in the nation with a 3.74 kills per game average. The outside attacker had double-digit kills in all but two matches this season, including a season-high 22 kills on a .462 attack percentage in a four-game victory against McKendree.
Guilherme Voss, Hawai’i
Voss led all freshmen and was in the nation’s top 10 with a 1.13 blocks per game average, including a season-high five blocks in a sweep against UC Irvine. The middle attacker also finished with a .477 attack percentage as helped the Rainbow Warriors end the shortened season at No. 2 in the national coaches poll and national media poll.
Michael Wright, Ohio State
Wright led all freshmen and was seventh in the nation with a 10.20 assists per game average. The setter also helped the Buckeyes finish second in the conference with a .294 attack percentage, including hitting .427 in a road sweep against its rival Penn State.