Cory, Carvalho finalists for National Off the Block awards

Published 12:07 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Evan Cory and Pedro Carvalho have been named finalists for two prestigious National Off the Block awards.

Cory, the Independent Teams Player of the Year, is now up for Division II National Player of the Year, while Carvalho is in the running for National Blocker of the Year for the second season in a row.

The other two finalists with Cory are Barton opposite Angelos Mandilaris and Lewis setter Matt Yoshimoto as Carvalho is in the running alongside a pair of middle attacks in UC Irvine’s Scott Stadick and Patrick Gasman of Hawai’i. The winners — decided by a nationwide voting committee — will be announced by Off the Block Friday, May 3.

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The junior opposite Cory has paved his way for this honor after leading the nation in points per set with 5.20, ranking second in aces per set (.640) and finishing eighth in kills per set with 4.04. The Metairie, La., native was also among the national leaders with 1.11 blocks per set and had five matches with at least 20 kills — knocking down a season high 26 on a .512 attack percentage against Emmanuel — as his career-best .341 attack percentage led the Lincoln Memorial University men’s volleyball team to a program-record, single-season 18 wins and their second straight Independent Volleyball Association championship.

Right behind Cory in those program-setting records was Carvalho, who was the 2018 National Blocker of the Year runner up. The São Paulo, Brazil native, has ended yet another year as the nation’s best blocker as he led everyone with 1.45 blocks per set and his team with 116.0. Carvalho, a middle attacker, had at least five blocks in 13 matches, including a season-high 10 blocks in a sweep over Queens Jan. 26.

These two juniors paved the way for the Railsplitters this season as Cory led the team in kills (360), service aces (57) and digs (141) while being second in blocks (99). Carvalho’s play on the net was huge behind his team-high 116 blocks, and he was also impactful in kills (116) and aces (25).