Quinn Isaacson heads list of Illinois products recognized among college's best

Quinn Isaacson, a Plainfield North graduate who led Ball State to a 23-4 record and the NCAA national semifinals, was named the recpient of the Lloy Ball Award as the nation’s best collegiate setter. (Photo courtesy of Off the Block).

Quinn Isaacson is capping off a college career with a major college men’s volleyball honor.

Off the Block (Offtheblockblog.com) announced Monday that a nationwide voting committee selected the Ball State setter as the recipient of the 2022 Lloy Ball Award.

The Lloy Ball Award, which is named after the former Purdue Fort Wayne All-American and U.S. Olympian setter, is presented to the nation’s best setter in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.

The 6-foot-2 Isaacson had a nation-best 11.42 assists per game average and guided the Ball State offense to the third-best attack percentage in the nation at .350. The setter also led Ball State and was third in the conference with a 0.36 aces per game average.

The voting committee for the Lloy Ball Award was comprised of about 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation. The top-three vote-getters were named finalists.

Issaacson received 46 votes to edge out the runner-up Hawaii setter Jakob Thelle by 25 votes. Along with the Hawaii and Ball State setters, UCLA setter Miles Partain finished in third place with 15 points.

Isaacson is the son of Tim Lester and Naperville Central volleyball coach Brie Isaacson, and is a graduate of Plainfield North.

This is the ninth year that Off the Block has presented the Lloy Ball Award.

The Lloy Ball Award is one of several end of season awards presented by Off the Block. Among the other national awards includes the Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, 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 Lloy Ball Award voting results

1. Quinn Isaacson, Ball State – 46 votes
2. Jakob Thelle, Hawai’i – 21 votes
3. Miles Partain, UCLA – 15 votes
4. Bryce Dvorak, Pepperdine – 6 votes
5. Cole Bogner, Penn State – 4 votes
T-6. Nicholas Slight, Grand Canyon – 3 votes
T-6. Aidan Knipe, Long Beach State – 3 votes
8. Kevin Kauling, Lewis – 1 vote

(From top to bottom) Lewis’ Kevin Kauling, Lewis’ Tyler Mitchem and Ball State’s Felix Egharevba.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association recently announced the 32nd annual NVA/AVCA Men’s Division I-II All-America Teams. This year, the first and second teams were expanded by two – to 12 members – so 24 total student-athletes now earn All-America status, and 30 were named honorable mention.

Division I

1st team

Quinn Isaacson, Ball State
Quinn Isaacson, Ball State University, 6-2, S, Grad Student, Plainfield North
2022 Stats: 1,005 Assists, 11.42 A/S, 2.09 D/S, 55 Blocks
The All-American honors are well-deserved for Isaacson, who has led Ball State to a memorable season, especially offensively. The setter leads the country in assists per set, and he has helped the team rank first in the same category and third in hitting percentage (.350).

Tyler Mitchem, Lewis
Tyler Mitchem, Lewis University, 6-11, MB, Grad Student, Bolingbrook
2022 Stats: .447 hitting percentage, 4.23 P/S, 122 Blocks, 1.341 B/S
After being a second-team All-American in 2019, Mitchem has made the first team each of the last three years, and he becomes the 16th player to be a four-time NVA/AVCA All-American. The Flyer dots the national charts in a number of categories: blocks (second), blocks per set (third), and hitting percentage (seventh). Off the Block also named Mitchem as the National Division II Player of the Year, the nation’s top blocker and the nation’s top player of minority ethnicity.

Honorable Mention

Kevin Kauling
, 6-8, Jr., S, Lewis University, Neuqua Valley
Felix Egharevba, 6-5, Sr., MB, Ball State, Naperville Central

The awards selections were made by the AVCA NCAA Division I-II Men’s All-America Committee: Dan Friend of Lewis (chair), Kevin Burch of Ohio State, John Cash of Lincoln Memorial, David Hunt of Pepperdine, Jay Hosack of George Mason, Ali’I Keohohou of Mt. Olive, Alan Knipe of Long Beach State, Jeff Lennox of Barton, Ray Lewis of Central State, Mark Pavlik of Penn State, Kevin Ring of UC San Diego, and John Speraw of UCLA.

(Left) North Central’ Jeremy Cardenas and (right) Matthew Nealon.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) also announced its 19th annual NVA/AVCA Men’s Division III All-America Teams.

Heading the list are Springfield’s Brennen Brandow and Carthage’s Matt Slivinski, who become only the fourth and fifth players in history to be four-time Division III first-teamers.

Division III

1st team

Matt Slivinski, Carthage College
Matt Slivinski, 6-3, Sr., OH, Carthage College, Lyons
2022 Stats: 
4.92 P/S, 74 Aces, 3.68 K/S, .346 hitting percentageSlivinksi becomes one of just five Division III players to earn first-team All-America honors four times. The outside hitter checks in on the 2022 Division III charts at No. 2 in aces per set, No. 8 in points per set, No. 17 in kills per set, and No. 30 in hitting percentage.

Jeremy Cardenas, North Central College
Jeremy Cardenas , 6-9 Jr., MB, North Central College, Neuqua Valley
2022 Stats: .428 hitting percentage, 174 Kills, 64 Blocks, 0.86 B/SCardenas becomes North Central’s first player to be named a first-team All-American. The junior ranks in the top 15 nationally in hitting percentage (.429), and he has 64 blocks in 2022, which rank second in program history for one season.

Zach Bulthuis, Carthage College
Zach Bulthuis, 6-6, Jr., MB, Carthage College, Chicago Christian
2022 Stats: .494 hitting percentage, 2.38 K/S, 162 Kills, 0.82 B/SThe uber-efficient middle blocker makes it back-to-back seasons as a first-team All-America selection. While Bulthuis does a lot of things well, there is one stat of his that jumps off the score sheet: his Division III-leading .494 hitting percentage.

2nd team

George Kougan, Dominican University
George Kougan, 6-6, Sr., RS, Dominican University, Lincoln-Way East
2022 Stats: 4.25 P/S, 315 Kills, 3/54 K/S, 61 BlocksThe senior helped the Stars reach new heights in 2022. The two-time All-American led the team to the conference regular-season and tournament titles – the first time the school has won both in the same season – and it compiled a program-best 21-match win streak.

Honorable Mention

Matthew Nealon, 6-1, Sr., S, North Central College, Metea Valley
Jared Moser, 6-2, Jr., OH, North Central College, Wheeling

The selections were made by the AVCA Men’s Division III Volleyball All-America Committee: chairperson Dan Ames (Aurora), Robert Wingert (Misericordia), Ryan Cole (SUNY Purchase), George Chapell (Endicott), Steve England (St. John Fisher), Jessica Fider (Lehman), John Forman (Medaille), Dan Liberto (Marymount), Evin Giglio (Wentworth), Kyle Exline (North Central), Kyle Mars (Baldwin-Wallace).

NAIA

The American Volleyball Coaches Association recently announced this year’s NVA/AVCA All-America Teams for NAIA men’s volleyball. Each of the two All-America Teams includes 12 student-athletes, and additional players received honorable mention honors.

2nd team

Ike Papes, William Penn University
Ike Papes, 6-4, Jr., OH, William Penn University, Providence Catholic
2022 Stats: 374 Kills, 4.11 K/S, 4.6 P/S, .311 hitting percentage
Papes is part of a lethal William Penn offensive attack that propelled the Statesmen to the best season in school history. The junior ranks seventh in the NAIA in kills (374) and ninth in kills per set (4.11) heading into the national championship.

The selections were made by the NVA/AVCA NAIA Men’s Volleyball All-America Committee: chairperson Kyle Shondell (Indiana Tech), Tom Ryan (St. Xavier), Andrew Palmer (Georgetown), Eric Snyder (Campbellsville), Luke Bentley (William Penn), Kyle Steele (Ottawa [AZ]), and Mike Talamantes (Park).

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