Long Beach outside Nikolov wins 2022 Karch Kiraly Award

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State

Alex Nikolov as a freshman is already the best outside attacker in the nation.

Off the Block announced Monday that a nationwide voting committee selected the Long Beach State outside attacker as the recipient of the 2022 Karch Kiraly Award..

The Karch Kiraly Award, which is named after the former UCLA All-American and U.S. Olympian, is presented to the nation’s best outside attacker in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season. In addition, a nationwide voting committee of coaches and media members determine the award winner.

Nikolov was second in the nation with a 0.58 aces per game average and is third in the country averaging 4.57 kills per game on a .386 attack percentage. The freshman also had at least 20 kills in nine matches and helped the Beach reach the NCAA Tournament finals.


The voting committee for the Karch Kiraly Award was comprised of about 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

The top three vote-getters were named finalists for the Karch Kiraly Award. A tie in the voting this year resulted in four finalists.

DeFalco earned 48 votes to beat the runner-up Ball State outside attacker Kaleb Jenness by 19 votes. Both Penn State outside attacker Brett Wildman and Stanford outside attacker Will Rottman garnered six votes.

This is the eighth year that Off the Block has presented the Karch Kiraly Award.

The Karch Kiraly 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 Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero and the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker.

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.

2022 Karch Kiraly Award voting results

1. Alex Nikolov, Long Beach State – 48 votes
2. Kaleb Jenness, Ball State – 29 votes
T-3. Brett Wildman, Penn State – 6 votes
T-3. Will Rottman, Stanford – 6 votes
T-5. Spencer Olivier, Long Beach State – 3 votes
T-5. Francesco Sani, UC Irvine – 3 votes
T-7. Michael Marsans, Lees-McRae – 2 votes
T-7. Camden Gianni, Grand Canyon – 2 votes
T-9. Ethan Hill, Stanford – 1 vote
T-9. Kyle McCauley, UC San Diego – 1 vote