GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum men's volleyball team downed the Rams of Bluefield College on Saturday afternoon in straight sets, with nearly every Pioneer player recording at least one kill.
The Pioneers (2-5) won the match by identical scores of 25-18, 25-18, 25-18 over the Rams (0-2).
Alberto Chiaparini finished the match with 11 kills on a .421 hitting percentage to lead Bluefield. Alex Duron (4) and Devon Robinson (3) were the only other Rams to record multiple kills. Caleb Word registered 18 assists, while two service aces came from Robinson. Defensively, Colby Mutter collected nine digs, followed by five from Robinson. Bluefield is credited with two solo blocks at the net, coming off of the hands of Robinson and Chiaparini.
Shaun Kampshoff had himself a day, collecting season-highs in kills (12) and hitting percentage (.429). His three attack errors are the fewest of the year, alongside tying his career-best three aces. Matteo Miselli recorded eight kills on a .583 clip, while Shaphar Grant went 3-for-3 on his swings. Hunter Walck earned three kills, followed by Tom Kait, Ivan Sosa, and Mackenzie Scott with a pair each. Lucas Blanco also collected a kill. Blanco dished out 25 assists on the afternoon and Peter Stewart recorded a trio. Aside from Kampshoff's three aces, Scott and Blanco notched two each, while Miselli accounted for one.
Defensively, Blanco and Stewart finished with a team-high five digs. Miselli and Sosa are credited with two as well. At the net, Arthur Amorim registered the Pioneers' only solo block, while Kampshoff and Sosa teamed up for the remaining block.
Bluefield hit .089 as a team with 20 kills and 15 attack errors in 56 total attempts. Tusculum hit .381 with a season-high 33 kills, program-low nine errors, and 63 total attacks. The Pioneers led the Rams in assists (32-20), aces (8-3), while the visitors led the dig category (19-17). The two teams tied with two total blocks apiece.
Today's opening set featured just two ties and no lead changes. Kampshoff was lightning out of the gate, collecting the first point of the match on his way to a 6-of-7 frame. Miselli was 3-for-3 in the set as well, garnering Tusculum's second point. The Rams tied the set for the last time at nine, before the Pioneers took 12 of the next 16 points, including a six-point surge. (All four of the Bluefield points in the stretch were off of Tusculum service errors.) After bringing the score to a closer 23-18, the Rams handed the Pioneers the set with a service and attack error, both by the same player. Tusculum hit an efficient .450 to Bluefield's even percentage.
Blanco claimed the second set's second point on the first ace of the match for either side. Both teams traded points, including minor three-point runs, until Kampshoff stepped in at the end. With the score in TU's favor at 21-18, Kampshoff recorded three kills and took part in a block (with Sosa) to close out the set. The Pioneers hit a fiery .500 with a mere one attack error, while Stewart collected four of his five digs in the frame.
Looking to extend the match, Bluefield started set three with three straight points. Kampshoff halted the spurt with a kill, but the Rams stretched the lead to 6-3. Grant knocked down his lone attempt in the set, followed by a Kampshoff ace to close the gap to just one point. Bluefield kept fighting, but gave up the advantage for good after a kill from Blanco tied things up. The Pioneers went on some mini-runs before the Rams called a timeout, down 18-14. Scott served three consecutive points, including two aces, until Chiaparini registered his 11th kill on the afternoon. The final point of the match belonged to Scott on a nice assist from Blanco to wrap up the match.
Tusculum will begin its month-long road trip on the last day of January, starting with a Midwest swing. The Pioneers will square off with the Lions of Lindenwood in Missouri at 8pm EST.