Off the Block announced on Monday the recipients of the National Position Player of the Week Awards and the National Freshman of the Week.
The National Position Player of the Week Awards recognize the libero, middle attacker, opposite, outside attacker and setter who had the best performances in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the week. In addition, the National Player of the Week is presented to the top freshman from the week in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.
The Off the Block staff determines each award recipient. The winners are announced every week during the regular season on the Off the Block website, offtheblockblog.com.
While there are other weekly national awards in college men’s volleyball, these are the only position-based and freshman-based weekly awards.
Off the Block at the end of the season presents the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker and the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero. It also presents the Freshmen All-American Team at the end of the regular season.
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 Weekly National Award recipients
National Setter of the Week: Nathan Lietzke, Stanford
National Opposite of the Week: Chun Owen, Concordia-Irvine
National Outside Attacker of the Week: Kyle McCauley, UC San Diego
National Middle Attacker of the Week: Michael de la Cruz, North Greenville
National Co-Libero of the Week: Mason Briggs, Long Beach State
National Co-Libero of the Week: Nicola Iannelli, St. Francis Brooklyn
National Freshman of the Week: Kevin Schuele, McKendree
Nathan Lietzke, Stanford
Lietzke had 43 assists and guided the offense to a .480 attack percentage, including zero attack errors in the final two games, as No. 14 Stanford upset No. 5/5 USC in four games on Friday. The setter also helped the Cardinal hit .286 in a four-game loss to the Trojans on Saturday.
Chun Owen, Concordia-Irvine
Owen had both a match-high four aces and 24 kills on a .537 attack percentage as Concordia-Irvine upset No. 9/9 Grand Canyon on Friday. The opposite also led all players with 28 kills in a four-game loss to Grand Canyon on Saturday.
Kyle McCauley, UC San Diego
McCauley had a combined 47 kills on a .407 attack percentage in a two-match series sweep against No. 13 UC Irvine, including a match-high 26 kills in the series opening win. The outside attacker also had a combined six aces in the two conference wins.
Michael de la Cruz, North Greenville
de la Cruz finished with a match-high 21 kills ona .581 attack percentage and added three aces in a five-game victory against Mount Olive on Saturday to move into first place in the ConfCarolinas. The freshman also had a team-high four blocks in a sweep against Barton on Friday.
Mason Briggs, Long Beach State
Briggs led all players with a combined 27 digs in a two-match series sweep against No. 6/8 UC Santa Barbara during the weekend. The libero also did not commit an reception error during the conference series.
Nicola Iannelli, St. Francis Brooklyn
Iannelli set a NCAA single-match record during the rally scoring era with 31 digs as St. Francis Brooklyn lost to George Mason on Saturday.
Kevin Schuele, McKendree
Schuele finished with 16 kills on a .464 attack percentage and a season-high 12 digs in a five-game road upset against No. 11 Loyola on Thursday. The outside attacker also had 13 kills and hit .429 in a four-game victory against Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday.