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Tusculum ups win record in split at LMU

Tusculum ups win record in split at LMU

HARROGATE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's volleyball team split its two Independent Volleyball Association (IVA) matches on Saturday (Apr. 1), hosted by Lincoln Memorial. The Pioneers edged out Alderson Broaddus for the single-season wins record before falling to the Railsplitters in the finale.

The Black and Orange (9-15, 2-6 IVA) wrap up the regular season with a trip to North Carolina this weekend (Apr. 7-8). TU begins with a Friday night showdown with Barton, scheduled for 7 p.m.

Match 1: Tusculum 3, Alderson Broaddus 2
The Pioneers started off the day with a morning five-set comeback over the Battlers (10-17, 0-5 IVA): 25-16, 30-32, 23-25, 25-23, 15-4.

Both Jaelin Gray and Andrew Nielsen reached double-figures in kills with 13 and 12, respectively. Loic Nanchen nearly joined his teammates with nine strikes. Andrew Haber accounted for 33 assists, while Nate Rogers landed a match-best four service aces. Nanchen led the Battlers with nine digs as both Gray and Nielsen registered a pair of block assists.

Deklan Wingo finished with a match-high 17 kills on a .344 hitting percentage, while Dane Loup fired 10 kills on a .643 clip. Rounding out the scoring were Jake Whyte (7), Colby Landry (6), Shaphar Grant (4), Jakob Svendsen (4), Jabes de la Cruz (4), and Noa Svendsen. Landry went an efficient 6-for-7 on his swings. Thiago da Silva led the setters with 26 assists, ahead of 22 by Jaden Bramhall. Three Pioneers recorded a pair of aces: Whyte, Grant, and the elder Svendsen. Jacob Rambo headed up the TU defense with nine digs, one more than Loup. Grant tallied five total blocks (one solo, four assists), while Whyte and Jakob Svendsen notched four block assists each.

Alderson Broaddus finished the match with a .144 hitting percentage with 44 kills and 27 attack errors in 118 total attempts. Tusculum totaled 55 kills, 22 errors, and 111 swings for a .297 hitting clip. The Pioneers led the match in assists (51-40), digs (36-31), and total blocks (12-4), while the Battlers had the service advantage (11-8).

The Pioneers led the opening frame from start to finish on their way to the early match lead. TU hit .471 in set one with 10 kills. Tusculum began with a 3-0 lead, stretching to seven (17-10) after a five-point spurt. Wingo had two kills, capped off by Grant's ace, forcing a Battlers' timeout. The IVA foes traded scores until the Pioneers strung together back-to-back points on a block by Whyte and Bramhall, followed by a kill from Loup. Tusculum closed out the set on an AB service error and an ace by Grant.

Set two was a marathon as the teams combined for 62 points across 17 ties and seven lead changes. The largest lead throughout was five, happening early on in the frame. TU was on the advantageous end of several bad sets and errors in crunch time. Tusculum had six set-points but was unable to close out, ultimately undone by consecutive Battlers' kills.

The third set also featured a multitude of ties and lead swaps. Despite Tusculum hitting .500 for a match-high 15 kills, the frame ended in favor of Alderson Broaddus. Neither team had more than a two-point leeway until an ace by AB forced a TU timeout at 14-11. The Pioneers built off of a service error and back-to-back kills by Wingo to tie the score once again. Whyte and Nanchen traded blows, but the Battlers rattled off three-straight points to lead 22-19. Tusculum was unable to catch up.

In spite of hitting a paltry .059, the Pioneers were able to send the match to a fifth set, tying the match at 2-all. Wingo landed five kills, aided by three from Loup. Continuing the trend, set four started out close. However, Tusculum gained traction, scoring 9-of-10 points, capped off by six-straight. AB responded with six of its own to narrow the edge to just one point. TU went 5-for-6, but the Battlers notched four in a row. A 7-for-9 span by Alderson Broaddus tied the score at 22. The Pioneers wrapped up using two service errors and a block by Bramhall.

Tusculum saved its best for last, going 6-for-7 on its attempts, along with five total blocks. TU also benefited from six AB attack errors. Wingo and Jakob Svendsen tallied four of the Pioneer kills, while Grant had a hand in four rejections. Tusculum put the match away after leading 2-1 and rocketing off eight-straight. A service error by the Battlers proved to be the clinching point.

Match 2: Lincoln Memorial 3, Tusculum 0
The Railsplitters (18-4, 7-0 IVA) overpowered the Pioneers to record their 15th consecutive win: 25-14, 25-16, 25-19.

Lincoln Memorial posted a .310 hitting percentage as the reigning IVA champions finished with 43 kills, 17 attack errors, and 84 attempts. Tusculum tallied a .091 clip with 23 kills and 16 errors on 77 attempts. The Railsplitters finished with more assists (38-20), aces (7-0), and digs (31-19), while the Pioneers held the edge in total blocks (8-7).

Cole Campisano recorded 12 kills on a .421 rate, followed by Justin Sharfenaker's 10 points. John Luers handed out 32 assists, while Ethan Hubbard led the service attack with a match-best three aces. Luers rounded out his double-double with 11 digs, trailed by Attia Soliman's 10. Matthew Gentry registered four total blocks (one solo, three assists).

Wingo accounted for nearly half of Tusculum's kills with his 10. Grant was 4-for-6 on his swings. Bramhall dished out 19 assists as he and Wingo added five digs each. Grant was credited with four total blocks (two solo, two assists).






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