PHILIPPI, W.Va.- The Coker College men's volleyball team will enter into the second annual, two day Independent Volleyball Association (IVA) Championship Tournament on the campus of Alderson Broaddus University, in hopes to avenge their loss in last year's championship match. The No. 2 Cobras will face the hosting No. 3 Battlers on Friday, April 13 in the second semi-final starting at 7:00 p.m.
The four teams competing for the title are the Alderson Broaddus Battlers, Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters, Queens (N.C.) Royals, and Coker Cobras.
Head-to-head, Coker defeated the Battlers in both matchups by scores of 3-2 and 3-1. Against the Railsplitters, the Cobras lost both times, 3-1 and 3-0. The Navy and Gold swept the Royals in the regular season 3-0 and 3-2.
Alderson Broaddus (3-18) went 2-4 in the IVA, putting the host as the No. 3 seed. Francisco Cabrera (a Off the Block All-Independent Team member) leads the squad with 238 kills. The setter Adreyune Husted heads up the assist category with 423 to his credit. Chase Christiansen and Myles Miller have combined for 101 total blocks for the Railsplitters.
Lincoln Memorial (12-13) earned the top seed by going a combined 5-1 over the competing teams with season sweeps of Coker and Alderson Broaddus. Three members (Pedro Carvalho, Evan Cory, and AJ Risavy) earned Off the Block All-Independent Team honors with Risavy also being named as Freshman of the Year. The team has never won a neutral site match in their two-year history (0-5). Cory has the team-high 308 kills with Risavy collecting 773 assists. Carvalho finished the regular season with 132 total blocks.
Queens (N.C.) (8-19) is in their inaugural season and the tournament will be their first neutral site match. The Royals went 1-5 against IVA teams, claiming the No. 4 seed in the tournament. Conner Nagaki and Aleksandar Perisic earned spots on the Off the Block All-Independent Team list. Tristan Santoyo holds the slight lead in the kill category with 163. The primary setter Jack Mitchner handed out 563 assists, while Perisic has blocked 99 total attempts at the net.
Coker (12-9) went 4-2 against the other IVA teams, collecting the second slot in the tournament. Joao Victor Santos and Stephen Porras made their way onto the Off the Block All-Independent Team, with Santos earning Player of the Year honors. The Cobras, as a team, lead the nation in aces per set with 1.94. They are also in the top-20 in digs per set (9.49), win-loss percentage (.571), opponent hitting percentage (.228), and team attacks per set (27.28).
Santos ended the regular season 12th in the nation with a 3.72 kills per game average and had at least 20 kills in four matches, including a season-high 26 kills in a near upset against Limestone in February. The opposite also is fifth in the nation with a 0.561 aces per game average and had a season-high five aces in matches against Lincoln Memorial, Belmont Abbey and Queens (N.C.). His 4.71 points per set is good for sixth nationally.
Porras was in the nation's top 50 averaging 2.94 kills per game and had at least 15 kills in four of Coker's six final regular season matches. He also was in the nation's top 20 with a 0.43 aces per game average, including having three aces in a five-game victory against Alderson Broaddus in March. Porras collected a career-high eight aces against Brewton-Parker in February.
Gary Baker is 13th in the nation with 2.44 digs per set and created a new season-high digs for Coker in his senior season (200 thus far).
The day two schedule of the IVA Tournament is to be determined based upon Friday's results. For further schedule updates and to follow the action, visit www.cokercobras.com.