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Record hitting earns Tusculum home win

Record hitting earns Tusculum home win

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's volleyball team avenged a January loss to Emmanuel in thrilling fashion on Saturday afternoon (Mar. 11). The Pioneers had two players record 20 kills in a match for the first time in program history (Deklan Wingo and Colby Landry).

Landry's 50 attack attempts and Jaden Bramhall's 55 assists are also new top marks in the young program's records. Additionally, Wingo's 14 digs are the second-most for a single match.

The Pioneers (6-12) survived the comeback attempt from the Lions (6-12) by scores of 25-16, 27-25, 20-25, 23-25, 15-12.

Jayden Young led Emmanuel with 22 kills on the afternoon. Henrik Westhoff dished out 46 assists, while Young and Harrison Coelho landed the Lions' aces. Noah Langelier and Nicklas Eichenberger both reached double-figures in digs with 11 and 10, respectively. Carlos Guerrero had a hand in seven total blocks (one solo, six assists).

For Tusculum, Wingo and Landry each finished with 20 kills, a career-best for Wingo. The former also fired on a .308 hitting percentage. Jake Whyte surged for 10 kills on a .471 clip. Dane Loup (7), Jakob Svendsen (5), Bramhall (2), and Noa Svendsen (1) rounded out the scoring. Landry and Loup tallied two aces each, joined by Wingo's singlet. In addition to Wingo's double-double, Loup scooped up 11 digs, just ahead of Matt Moore's eight. At the net, Whyte assisted in four blocks and Wingo notched a pair.

Emmanuel hit .182 as a team with 52 kills and 27 errors on 137 total attempts. Tusculum averaged .213 with 65 kills, 32 errors, and 155 total attacks. The Lions led the match in digs (50-48) and total blocks (11-5), while the Pioneers held the advantage in assists (60-51) and service aces (5-2).

Tusculum had a hot start to the afternoon, firing an even .300 with 13 kills, two aces, and two blocks. Landry tallied the first three points of the match for the Pioneers on kills. The elder Svendsen started a spurt for TU at the 6-6 tie. Tusculum took advantage of six unforced errors by Emmanuel and two points by Wingo (kill and ace) to hold a 15-9 lead. The Pioneers continued the pace to force the second Lions timeout at 21-14. TU won four of the next six points to take the match edge.

The Pioneers shot out to an early 4-0 advantage, yet Emmanuel went on a 14-4 stretch to pull ahead. TU responded with six of the following seven scores to lessen the gap. The Lions rallied to lead 21-17, but back-to-back kills by Loup and Landry saw Emmanuel call a timeout. Tusculum fought back to a 23-all tie on a block by Whyte and Loup. The Lions had set-point, yet a kill by Loup and an ace by Landry earned TU the edge. The Pioneers closed out on a kill by Whyte and a Lion attack error.

TU also had a strong start to the third set, but a surge in the middle of the frame by Emmanuel denied the Pioneer sweep. Tusculum's last lead was at 15-14 before a 5-of-6 spurt turned the momentum to the Lions. The teams traded points to a 22-20 result. Emmanuel was the fortunate recipient of three-straight unforced TU errors to avoid being swept.

Set four saw 17 ties and six lead changes, featuring a combined 26 kills and 14 attack errors. Neither team ever had more than a three-point edge over the entire frame. For the second-straight set, Emmanuel was the beneficiary of three Tusculum errors to clinch the match tie.

Tusculum saved its best performance for last, hitting .400 in the final frame. The only lead change happened within the first three scores as Emmanuel won the opening point, followed by a Landry kill and a Lion error. There were also three ties, the final at 11-11. Wingo landed consecutive kills as Emmanuel called its first timeout. After an attack error by the Lions, the second stoppage was called as TU led 14-11. Emmanuel got a 12th point and Tusculum asked for a pause. Wingo's 20th kill was the final straw, winning the match for the Pioneers.

Tusculum remains home for a Senior Night rematch against Fort Valley State on March 17. The Pioneers and Wildcats have agreed to a 6 p.m. first serve.






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