Muncie, Ind. - - Ball State men's volleyball senior middle attacker Anders Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis./St. Croix Falls H.S.) has been selected as one of three finalists for the Off the Block Blocker of the Year award as announced by the website (http://offtheblockblog.wordpress.com) Wednesday.
The inaugural Off the Block Blocker of the Year is given to the nation's best front-row defensive men's volleyball player during the regular season. To be eligible for this award, a player must be on the active roster of a Division I-II men's volleyball team.
Nelson enters the quarterfinal round of the MIVA Tournament ranked first in the league and third nationally with a 1.35 blocks-per-game average. He has tallied an NCAA-best 35 solo blocks this season to go along with 109 block assists for a total of 144 blocks. His effort at the net also has the Cardinals ranked first nationally with a team average of 3.05 blocks per game.
"Anders has been a steady player for us all season and has been a great anchor for our blocking and offense," Ball State coach Joel Walton said. "Whether it's his serving or back court defense, Anders has been tremendous for us since he joined Ball State."
Nelson recorded a season-high 10 total blocks in a sweep at IPFW (Feb. 12), while posting a career-best five solo blocks in a five-game victory at Sacred Heart (Jan. 29). The only player to start all 29 matches for BSU this season, Nelson has collected five-or-more blocks in 17 matches.
In addition to his stellar season numbers, enters the MIVA Tournament ranked eighth in program history with 329 career block assists in just three seasons. In addition, his 396 career total blocks are 13th in program history and leave him eight shy of breaking into the top 10. Both totals, along with his 67 career solo blocks, rank second in the BSU rally scoring era behind only senior middle attacker J.D. Gasparovic (St. Louis, Mo./Oakville H.S.).
Long Beach State's Antwain Aguillard and BYU's Futi Tavana are the two other finalist for the award.
The voting committee for this award was comprised of more than 15 men's volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
The overall winner of the Off the Block Blocker of the Year award will be announced Monday, April 25.
Off the Block is a website that launched in January and solely focuses on college men's volleyball news and analysis.