GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's volleyball team split a pair of matches Saturday as part of a tri-match, including the program's first-ever win. The Black and Orange move to 1-2 on the young season.
In the first match, Tusculum beat Urbana in a solid team effort to earn the sweep. To wrap up the day, the Pioneers fell to Mount Olive in three sets.
Tusculum 3, Urbana 0
The Pioneers powered their way past the Blue Knights, winning by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.
Tusculum posted a .385 hitting percentage as TU finished with 42 kills, 12 attack errors, and 78 attempts. Urbana tallied a .147 attack percentage with 28 kills, 18 errors and 68 attempts. The Blue Knights finished the day with two service aces to go along with two total blocks and 22 digs. The Pioneers had five aces with seven total blocks and 18 digs. Over the course of the event, the teams combined for 19 ties and seven lead changes.
Tusculum's Matteo Miselli added 13 kills, while Shaun Kampshoff tallied 11. Miselli finished with a .500 hitting percentage and Kampshoff's kills came on a .318 clip. Arthur Amorim contributed eight kills in the effort on a .583 tear. Lucas Blanco dished out 35 of the team's 40 assists. Miselli also led the team in aces with two and digs with six. At the net, Amorim, Blanco, and Shaphar Grant added three block assists, with Miselli collecting one solo block and two assisted blocks.
Jack Brinkman led the Blue Knights with 10 kills on a .333 hitting mark, while Chaz Hafer recorded all 23 assists and both aces for Urbana. Defensively, Sam Hargett and Tomas Beralas notched six digs each. Brinkman provided most of the defense at the net with one solo and one block assist. Kurt Klamfoth contributed on the second block.
In the first set, the teams traded points until Urbana reached a three point lead at 7-4. A Grant kill and an ace from Hunter Walck put the Pioneers back in contention. The Blue Knights pulled away again, making it 17-13 in the visitor's favor. Kampshoff halted the rally with a kill, followed by Miselli. Amorim rattled off a kill to even the set at 17-all. The Pioneers took the lead for good in the frame on another Amorim swing, breaking the tie at 19. Urbana threatened a comeback before a Miselli rocket closed the set at 25-23. Tusculum hit a fiery .538 in the frame, making just three attack errors.
The second set was much of the same with Urbana and Tusculum trading points and short runs. Four straight points went the Pioneer way, including two kills from Walck, gave the home team a 15-12 lead. The Black and Orange never relented the advantage for the remainder of the set. Miselli went 3-for-5 and recorded both aces for the Pioneers in the frame.
Tusculum took the momentum early in the final set with Amorim and Blanco combining on a block. The Pioneers stretched the lead to four at 12-8, but Urbana was pesky, taking nine of the next 11 points. Tusculum returned the favor with a seven-point run of its own, bringing the score to 21-17 for the Pioneers. The Blue Knights gave Tusculum a scare at the end, but Miselli sealed the team's first win with a thunderous strike. Defense was the biggest factor of the Pioneers' winning set as they recorded five total blocks, holding the Blue Knights to a hitting percentage of a mere .077.
Mount Olive 3, Tusculum 0
Tobi Azeez posted 15 kills on a .522 clip, pacing Mount Olive to a 3-0 win over Tusculum. The Trojans won the match by scores of 25-20, 25-13, 25-20 in the final game of the tri-match.
Mount Olive's Nicolas Laxar dished out 29 of the Trojans' 30 assists, while libero Trevor Treser added eight digs. Troy Magorien collected three service aces and Laxar also contributed two block assists on the defensive side.
Kampshoff led the Pioneers with seven kills, while Miselli added six kills in the loss. Blanco racked up 16 more assists on the day. Blanco and Miselli also led the team with three digs apiece. At the line, Grant knocked down the only two aces for Tusculum in the match. Four Pioneers recorded a block assist: Amorim, Blanco, Grant, and Miselli.
Tusculum returns to action on Tuesday when they host in-state rival Lincoln Memorial within Pioneer Arena. First serve is scheduled for 7pm.