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Off the Block Fan Choice Player of the Year: Round 1

May 18, 2011

Off the Block created the bracket and seeded 64 of the best college men’s volleyball players. Now it’s up to you determine who should be the Off the Block Fan Choice Player of the Year.

The Off the Block Fan Choice Player of the Year tournament is the only contest that allows the fans to completely determine who should be the national player of the year.

The online voting for the 32 first-round matches will end at 11 p.m. Wednesday. The winners will advance to the second round Thursday.

Check out the first-round online ballots below and vote for the players who you think should move to the next round.

Sean Rooney Region

No. 1 seed Murphy Troy, USC outside attacker
Troy was the AVCA National Player of the Year and finished in the nation’s top 15 with a 4.00 kills per game average, a 0.40 aces per game average and a .358 attack percentage. The senior co-captain was also named a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF player as the Trojans advanced to the Final Four.
No. 16 Eric Edelman, Pfeiffer middle attacker
Edelman was in the Conference Carolinas’ top 10 with 64 blocks and a 2.62 kills per game average. The freshman was also second on the team with a .260 attack percentage as Pfeiffer end the season in last place in the Conference Carolinas.


No. 2 seed Brad Lawson, Stanford outside attacker
Lawson was seventh in the nation with a 4.33 kills per game average and led the team with a 0.47 aces per game average. The junior and 2010 MPSF Offensive Player of the Year was named a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF player as Stanford finished the season ranked No. 6 in the nation.
No. 15 seed Matt Jones, Harvard outside attacker
Jones was among the EIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.95 kills per game and 0.36 aces per game average. The junior was also second on the team with a .254 attack percentage as Harvard finished tied for last place in the EIVA Hayes Division.


No. 3 seed Cory Yoder, UC Irvine outside attacker
Yoder led all outside attacker in the nation and was fourth overall with a .409 attack percentage, while also finishing in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.28 kills per game average. The senior was named a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF player as the Anteaters finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation.
No. 14 seed Chris Vrooman, Juniata outside attacker
Vrooman was in the EIVA top 10 with a 3.20 kills per game average. The senior was also named to the Second-Team All-EIVA as Juniata finished the season in first place in the EIVA Hayes Division and reached the conference tournament.


No. 4 seed Antwain Aguillard, Long Beach State middle attacker
Aguillard was among the MPSF leaders and seventh in the nation with a 1.19 blocks per game average. The Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF selection was also one of three finalists for the Off the Block Blocker of the Year award. Long Beach State finished the season No. 7 in the national rankings.
No. 13 seed Joseph Smalzer, Loyola outside attacker
Smalzer, the MIVA Freshman of the Year, led the MIVA with 47 aces and was among the conference leaders and in the nation’s top 40 with a 3.11 kills per game average. He also was named to the First-Team All-MIVA as Loyola advanced to the MIVA championship match for the second consecutive season.


No. 5 seed Edgardo Goas, Penn State setter
Goas led the EIVA and was eighth in the nation with an 11.03 assists per game average. The junior was a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-EIVA player as he helped guide Penn State’s offense to a conference-best .309 attack percentage. The Nittany Lions won the EIVA championship and reached the Final Four.
No. 12 seed Aaron Flick, Lewis middle attacker
Flick was among the MIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 15 with a 1.09 blocks per game average. The junior Second-Team All-MIVA selection also had a team-high 118 blocks as Lewis finished the season in fourth place in the MIVA.


No. 6 seed Henry Cassiday, USC libero
Cassiday was among the MPSF leaders and third in the nation with a 2.62 digs per game average. The All-MPSF honorable mention and All-MPSF Freshman Team selection led all freshmen in the nation with 257 digs. USC won the MPSF regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
No. 11 seed Scott Slaughter, UC Santa Barbara
Slaughter was in the nation’s top 30 with a 0.96 blocks per game average and was third on the team with a 2.06 kills per game average. The junior was a Second-Team All-MPSF selection as the Gauchos won the MPSF championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.


No. 7 seed Maurice Torres, Pepperdine outside attacker
Torres was among the MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 15 with both a 4.04 kills per game average and 0.38 aces per game average. The sophomore also was second on the team with a .257 attack percentage as Pepperdine finished in ninth place in the MPSF.
No. 10 seed Steven Shandrick, USC middle attacker
Shandrick was among the nation’s top 25 averaging 1.04 blocks per game. The junior was a Second-Team All-MPSF selection as USC won the MPSF regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

No. 8 seed Brandon Joyner, George Mason setter
Joyner led all setters in the nation and was eighth overall with a 1.17 blocks per game average. The senior First-Team All-EIVA selection also was among the EIVA leaders with a 9.11 assists per game average. George Mason finished the season in second place in the EIVA.
No. 9 seed Joshua Walker, Hawai’i outside attacker
Walker was in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.54 kills per game average and .332 attack percentage. The senior Second-Team All-MPSF selection also led the team with a 0.28 aces per game average. Hawai’i finished the season fifth in the MPSF.

Kawika Shoji Region


No. 1 seed Jonas Umlauft, Hawai’i outside attacker
Umlauft led the nation with a 5.57 kills per game average — almost a 0.75 kills per game average more than any other player in the nation — and his .344 attack percentage was 12th best in the nation. The sophomore was named a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF as the Warriors finished No. 8 in the national rankings.
No. 16 seed Brady Smith, NJIT libero
Smith was third in the EIVA and ninth in the nation with a 2.42 digs per game average. The sophomore was also in the conference’s top five with 217 digs as NJIT finished the season tied for last place in the EIVA Hayes Division.


No. 2 seed Riley McKibbin, USC setter
McKibbin led the MPSF and was second in the nation with a 12.24 assists per game average, while also being in the nation’s top 25 with a 1.91 digs per game average. The senior co-captian was named to a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF as the Trojans won the MPSF regular season title and reached the Final Four.
No. 15 seed Angel Dache, Mount Olive outside attacker
Dache was among the conference leaders and in the nation’s top 30 with both a 3.76 kills per game average and a .305 attack percentage. The freshman First-Team All-Conference Carolinas selection was also fourth in the nation with a 0.45 aces per game average. Mount Olive won its second consecutive Conference Carolinas championship.


No. 3 seed Steve Kehoe, Stanford setter
Kehoe, the MIVA Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, led the MIVA and was fifth in the nation with an 11.56 assists per game average. The senior First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MIVA player was also named the NCAA Tournament MVP after the Buckeyes won their first national championship in program history.
No. 14 seed Chad Mercado, Lees-McRae outside attacker
Mercado led the Conference Carolinas and was second in the nation with a 4.69 kills per game average. The senior First-Team All-Conference Carolinas player was also in the nation’s top 30 with a .309 attack percentage. Lees-McRae finished in second place in the Conference Carolinas.


No. 4 seed Mike Bunting, Loyola outside attacker
Bunting had a 4.21 kills per game average and a .372 attack percentage — one of three players to be in the nation’s top 10 for both categories. The senior was a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MIVA selection as Loyola advanced to the MIVA championship match for the second consecutive season.
No. 13 seed Enzo Mackenzie, Sacred Heart outside attacker
Mackenzie was among the EIVA leaders and sixth in the nation with a 4.37 kills per game average. The freshman Second-Team All-EIVA selection also led the team with a .281 attack percentage. Sacred Heart finished the season in third place in the EIVA Hayes Division.


No. 5 seed Anders Nelson, Ball State outside attacker
Nelson was second in the MIVA and third in the nation with a 1.36 blocks per game average as Ball State led the country in blocks. The Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MIVA senior was also one of three finalists for the Off the Block Blocker of the Year award. Ball State finished third in the MIVA.
No. 12 seed Jeff Zornig, Rutgers-Newark setter
Zornig was among the EIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 15 with both a 10.31 assists per game average and 0.37 aces per game average. The junior was also a First-Team All-EIVA selection as Rutgers-Newark finished the season in fourth place in the conference.


No. 6 seed Vince Devany, UC Santa Barbara setter
Devany was second in the MPSF and third in the nation with an 11.64 assists per game average. The senior All-MPSF honorable mention helped guide the Gauchos to a .325 attack percentage, seventh best in the nation. UC Santa Barbara won the MPSF championship and advanced to the NCAA championship match.
No. 11 seed Connor Mortland, NYU setter
Mortland, the EIVA Newcomer of the Year, was second in the EIVA and 10th in the nation with a 10.85 assists per game average. The Second-Team All-EIVA selection also had a team-high 1.57 digs per game average as NYU finished in second place in the EIVA Hayes Division.


No. 7 seed Wes Dunlap, UCLA middle attacker
Dunlap led the nation with a .446 attack percentage and was second on UCLA with a 2.56 kills per game average. The junior was named to the Second-Team All-MPSF and also was in the nation’s top 50 with a 0.87 blocks per game average. The Bruins finished the season in eighth place in the MPSF.
No. 10 seed Greg Falcone, Springfield middle attacker
Falcone led the EIVA with a .524 attack percentage and averaged 2.00 kills per game. The sophomore was a First-Team All-EIVA selection as Springfield advanced to the EIVA championship match for the first time in program history.


No. 8 seed John Klanac, Ohio State outside attacker
Klanac was among the MIVA leaders and 13th in the nation with a .340 attack percentage, while also finishing in the nation top 30 with a 3.35 kills per game average. The senior was named to the First-Team All-MIVA as Ohio State won its first NCAA championship in program history.
No. 9 seed Tri Bourne, USC outside attacker
Bourne was in the nation’s top 20 with a .326 attack percentage and third on the Trojans averaging 2.78 kills per game. The senior was also named to the Second-Team All-MPSF as the Trojans won the MPSF regular season title and advanced the NCAA Tournament.

Matt Anderson Region


No. 1 seed Joe Sunder, Penn State outside attacker
Sunder, the EIVA Player of the Year, led the conference and was fourth in the nation with a 4.54 kills per game average. The junior also was named a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-EIVA player as Penn State won its 13th consecutive EIVA title and reached the NCAA Tournament.
No. 16 seed Scott Schweihofer, Limestone outside attacker
Schweihofer was among the Conference Carolinas leaders and in the nation’s top 25 averaging 3.65 kills per game. The senior First-Team All-Conference Carolinas selection was also second in the conference with 30 aces as Limestone finished in fourth place in the conference.


No. 2 seed Jeff Menzel, UC Santa Barbara outside attacker
Menzel was ninth in the nation averaging 4.18 kills per game and had a team-high .307 attack percentage. The First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF also had a nation-best 103 total postseason kills during the UC Santa Barbara’s run to the NCAA championship match.
No. 15 seed Kyle Volstad, Quincy middle attacker
Volstad was second on the team with a 0.77 blocks per game average. The senior was also a Second-Team All-MIVA selection as Quincy finished in sixth place in the MIVA and won its first conference tournament match in program history.


No. 3 seed Dennis Del Valle, Penn State libero
Del Valle led the nation with 300 digs and a 2.65 digs per game average. The senior was a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-EIVA selection as Penn State advanced to the Final Four for the 13th consecutive season. Del Valle was also named the EIVA Tournament MVP.
No. 14 seed Taylor Hughes, Pacific outside attacker
Hughes was in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.88 kills per game average and had a team-high .272 attack percentage. The sophomore also was an All-MPSF honorable mention as Pacific finished the season tied for last place in the conference.


No. 4 seed Taylor Sander, BYU outside attacker
Sander was the AVCA National Newcomer of the Year after leading BYU and being 14th in the nation with a .336 attack percentage. The freshman was also in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.67 kills per game average. Sander was a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF player as BYU ended the season ranked No. 5 in the nation.
No. 13 seed Trent Bruns, Grand Canyon libero
Bruns led the MIVA and was fifth in the nation with a 2.50 digs per game average. The sophomore also became the first player in Grand Canyon history to be selected to the First-Team All-MIVA. Grand Canyon finished the season in last place in the MIVA.


No. 5 seed Tony Ciarelli, USC outside attacker
Ciarelli was in the nation’s top 25 with both a 3.61 kills per game average and .317 attack percentage. The junior also was a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF selection as USC won the MPSF regular season championship and advanced to the Final Four.
No. 12 seed Jim Baughman, Long Beach State outside attacker
Baughman was in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.27 kills per game average and 0.29 aces per game average. The junior also had a team-high .267 attack percentage as Long Beach State finished the season in sixth place in the MPSF.


No. 6 seed Darryl Shank, IPFW outside attacker
Shank was second in the MIVA and 11th in the nation with a 4.05 kills per game average. The senior First-Team All-MIVA selection also led IPFW with both a .285 attack percentage and 1.87 digs per game average. The Mastodons finished the season fifth in the MIVA and lost in the first round of the conference tournament.
No. 11 seed Nejc Zemljak, Hawai’i setter
Zemljak was among the MPSF leaders and seventh in the nation with an 11.04 assists per game average. The senior Second-Team All-MPSF selection also helped lead Hawai’i to a .330 attack percentage, sixth best in the nation. Hawai’i finished the season No. 8 in the national rankings.


No. 7 seed Spencer McLachlin, Stanford outside attacker
McLachlin was in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.79 kills per game average and in the nation’s top 30 with a .303 attack percentage. The senior was a Second-Team All-MPSF selection also was third on the team with a 1.55 digs per game average. Stanford finished the season No. 6 in the national rankings.
No. 10 seed Jordan DuFault, UC Irvine outside attacker
DuFault was among the MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 15 with a .334 attack percentage. The senior Second-Team All-MSPF player also had a 2.76 kills per game average and led the Anteaters with a 1.69 digs per game average. UC Irvine finished No. 4 in the national rankings.


No. 8 seed Austin Pappas, Rutgers-Newark outside attacker
Pappas led the nation with 56 aces and a 0.57 aces per game average. The junior was a Second-Team All-EIVA selection and also was in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.35 kills per game average. Rutgers-Newark finished the season fourth in the EIVA Tait Division.
No. 9 seed Jay Petty, Lewis outside attacker
Petty was among the MIVA leaders and the in the nation’s top 25 with both a 3.88 kills per game average and .316 attack percentage. The sophomore was also named to the First-Team All-MIVA as the Flyers finished the season in fourth place in the conference.

Jayson Jablonsky Region


No. 1 seed Futi Tavana, BYU middle attacker
Tavana led the MPSF and was the second in the nation with a 1.52 blocks per game average. The First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF player was also the inaugural winner of the Off the Block Blocker of the Year award. BYU finished the season ranked No. 5 and lost in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.
No. 16 seed Jeff Stapleton, Princeton outside attacker
Stapleton was 10th in the nation with a 0.32 aces per game average. The freshman also led the team and was in the nation’s top 50 with a 2.68 kills per game average. Princeton finished the season in last place in the EIVA Tait Division.


No. 2 seed Carson Clark, UC Irvine outside attacker
Clark was third in the nation with a 4.53 kills per game average and led the MPSF with 47 aces. The junior was named a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF player and was the youngest player selected to the initial roster for the U.S. National Men’s Volleyball Team.
No. 15 seed Greg Faulkner, Cal State Northridge middle attacker
Faulkner was in the nation’s top 50 and had a team-high 0.85 blocks per game average. He also was named to the All-MPSF Freshman Team as Cal State Northridge finished the season tied for last place in the MPSF.


No. 3 seed Erik Shoji, Stanford libero
Shoji was second in the MPSF and third in the nation with a 2.62 digs per game average. The junior was a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF selection and in March set the Stanford record for career digs. Stanford finished the season No. 6 in the national rankings.
No. 14 seed Joel Salva, King College setter
Salva, the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year was sixth in the nation with a 2.42 digs per game average and was third in the conference with a 9.34 assists per game average. The senior also was a First-Team All-Conference Carolinas selection as King College advanced to the conference championship match.


No. 4 seed Rob Stowell, BYU outside attacker
Stowell was 10th in the nation and had a team-high 4.08 kills per game average, while also being in the nation’s top 20 with a .326 attack percentage. The senior was a Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-MPSF selection as BYU finished the season No. 5 in the national rankings.
No. 13 seed John Wappler, St. Francis libero
Wappler was second in the EIVA and seventh in the nation with a 2.42 digs per game average. The junior was a Second-Team All-EIVA selection as St. Francis finished the season in fifth place in the EIVA Tait Division.


No. 5 seed Andy McGuire, UC Santa Barbara libero
McGuire was among the MPSF leaders and eighth in the nation with a 2.37 digs per game average. The senior was named a Second-Team All-American and Second-Team All-MPSF player. McGuire also helped lead UC Santa Barbara to the MPSF championship and the NCAA championship match.
No. 12 seed J.D. Gasparovic, Ball State middle attacker
Gasparovic led the MIVA and was second in the nation with a 1.36 blocks per game average. The senior Second-Team All-MIVA selection also led the conference with 145 blocks. Ball State finished the season in third place in the MIVA.


No. 6 seed Shawn Sangrey, Ohio State outside attacker
Despite missing almost one month because of a midseason emergency appendectomy, Sangrey finished 15th in the nation with a 3.92 kills per game average and was among the MIVA leaders with a 0.34 aces per game average. Sangrey was a First-Team All-MIVA selection as Ohio State won its first NCAA championship in program history.
No. 11 seed Alberto Bravo, Springfield outside attacker
Bravo was among the EIVA leaders and in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.91 kills per game average. The senior First-Team All-EIVA selection was also 30th in the country with a .292 attack percentage as Springfield advanced to its EIVA championship match in program history.


No. 7 seed Javier Caceres, Pacific libero
Caceres led the MPSF and was second in the nation with a 2.65 assists per game average. The freshman was also an All-MPSF honorable mention. The Tigers finished the tied for last place but more than doubled its conference win total for the previous two seasons.
No. 10 seed Phil Bannan, UC San Diego setter
Bannan led the MPSF and was second in the nation with 47 aces. The senior also averaged 9.84 assists per game, 24th-best in the nation. UC San Diego finished the season tied for last place in the MPSF and missed the postseason.


No. 8 seed Cullen Irons, UC Santa Barbara outside attacker
Irons was in the nation’s top 30 with both a 3.61 kills per game average and .307 attack percentage. The senior also helped lead UC Santa Barbara to the MPSF championship and its first appearance in the NCAA championship match since 1988.
No. 9 seed Mark Jones, George Mason outside attacker
Jones was second in the EIVA and fifth in the nation with a 4.46 kills per game average. The sophomore First-Team All-EIVA selection also led the Patriots with a .258 attack percentage. George Mason finished the season second in the EIVA.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Brad d permalink
    May 18, 2011 4:41 am

    Let the games begin. May the best Players win

  2. Peter Schleppenbach permalink
    May 18, 2011 5:20 pm

    This is great, but will the vote by fans of collegiate volleyball or the fans of a particular school carry the day? Either way, it will be good to see how many vote . . . reflecting interest and support in general.

  3. wordzmith12 permalink
    May 18, 2011 7:01 pm

    My vote’s for Cullen in last one, I didn’t see a “vote” link there——-

    I still think the OSU crowd was the player of the year——-

  4. Kyle permalink
    May 18, 2011 8:17 pm

    Cal Palumbo from Springfield. Many d-3 players listed but he was POTY d-3 but he is not. Awesome list tho!!

  5. May 18, 2011 8:56 pm

    He was just on the bubble for an at-large bid but just missed out. Without a doubt he had a great season, along with the rest of the Springfield players. The Pride are my early pick to win the first D-III title in 2012.

  6. alex permalink
    May 18, 2011 11:52 pm

    why is jim on this?

  7. Tom permalink
    May 19, 2011 1:25 am

    Seems like some Grand Canyon people found out they can vote more than once!

  8. Scot permalink
    May 19, 2011 1:49 am

    Looks like someone with way too much time on their hands deleted their cookies and voted over and over for the Grand Canyon kid and the Pacific libero. Hopefully you had enough fun to warrant the hours you spent. I guess ruining a poll that someone spent a great deal of time on might be fun to someone. At least you stopped going anti-PSU players early on.

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