Men's Volleyball Wraps Up Home-Stand, Travels for First Time

Men's Volleyball Wraps Up Home-Stand, Travels for First Time

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's volleyball team will close out their four-match home stretch on Tuesday before heading to the Carolinas for a weekend series. Eddie Pennington's squad will face North Greenville on Friday night and his alma mater, Belmont Abbey, on Saturday afternoon.

The Black and Orange went 1-2 during the week, picking up the program's first win via a sweep over Urbana on Saturday. Tusculum dropped its matches against King and Mount Olive to account for the two losses.

Matteo Miselli led the offensive charge for the Pioneers, totaling 30 kills (3.33 per set) on a .317 hitting percentage. He collected a team-high six service aces. Shaun Kampshoff followed closely behind with 28 kills and four aces. Both Arthur Amorim and Hunter Walck contributed 12 kills apiece. Lucas Blanco and Shaphar Grant rounded out the category with five and four kills, respectively. At the line, Amorim (3), Walck (2), and Grant (2) contributed multiple aces.

Defensively, libero Jaret Knight dug up the most attempts with 15, while Miselli was next up with 11. Blanco was third with eight to his credit. At the net, Amorim collected eight total blocks (one solo, seven assists) and Grant added just one less block assist.

Blanco dished out nearly every assist, compiling 77 of the 89. Miselli handed out five and Knight notched four.

Tusculum leads the independent teams in aces per set (1.89), good for ninth in the nation. The Pioneers are second across the same group in assists per set (9.89), hitting percentage (.216), and opponent hitting percentage (.234). Individually, Miselli ranks 11th in the country in aces per set (.667), second amongst the independent league, and is 19th in points per set (4.28). His hitting percentage of .317 is good for second across the independents. Blanco is 20th nationally with an assist per set average of 8.56.

Lincoln Memorial (2-1) will square off with the Pioneers on Tuesday before making the trek to Ohio State for a Thursday match. Evan Cory, reigning Off the Block Independent Teams Player of the Week, leads the Railsplitters in both kills (47) and digs (16). Nationally, Cory is second in kills per set (4.7) and third in both attacks per set (10.1) and points per set (5.45). Dawson Walker has the second-most kills on the team with 19 while maintaining a .359 hitting percentage. Ryan Foy heads up both the assist and ace categories with 102 and five, respectively. Foy's 10.2 assists per set average is eighth-best in the country. Pedro Carvalho is credited with 13 total blocks (five solo, eight assists) with Walker just behind with 12 (two solo, 10 assists). As a team, Lincoln Memorial ranks in the top-10 in three national statistics: team attacks per set (28.5), assists per set (11.5), and blocks per set (2.7). 

North Greenville (1-1) will have been on a break for nearly two weeks when the Pioneers come to town. The Crusaders last played on January 4th at Ohio State. Offensively, Jackson Gilbert (.340) and Cade McGee (.300) have efficiently recorded 26 and 21 kills, respectively. Gilbert also leads the team with five aces, nearly half of North Greenville's total of 11. The two setters, Jake Boldog and Sergio Carrillo, are responsible for 71-of-75 assists by the team. Christian Phung paces the back row with his 19 digs, more than doubling the next closest Crusader's nine. Ben Hamsho is the Crusaders' main threat at the net, compiling eight total blocks (one solo, seven assists) with four teammates tied at three. North Greenville leads Conference Carolinas or in the top-20 nationally in aces per set (1.57), hitting percentage (.321), blocks per set (2.0), and kills per set (11.29). Gilbert is eighth in the country in aces per set (.714) and points per set (4.71), and 13th in kills per set (3.71). Phung is fifth nationally in digs per set (2.71).

For the second consecutive day, the Pioneers will face a team of Crusaders. Belmont Abbey (1-2) is headed to Queens on Thursday before hosting Tusculum on Saturday. Liam Maxwell has knocked down 33 kills to head up the attack, along 76 assists off of the hands of Brennan Davis. Just three players have contributed two aces, while three have been credited with one apiece. Davis leads the Crusaders with his 18 digs. William Morris has had his hands in 10 total blocks (one solo, nine assists). Belmont Abbey leads Conference Carolinas in digs per set (9.67) and team attacks per set (26.56), both in the top-15 nationally. Maxwell's 9.89 attacks per set is good for fourth in the country.

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