PHILIPPI, W. Va.- The Coker College men's volleyball team won a five-set nail-biter over the reigning IVA Champions, the Alderson Broaddus Battlers, 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 19-17).
The Cobras (13-9) were paced by a Coker record-breaking performance from Joao Victor Santos with 32 kills on a .400 hitting percentage. He surpassed his previous record of 27 in a match from 2016. Alongside his offensive skill, Santos added 13 digs for a double-double, with a service ace and five total blocks, including the back-to-back solo blocks to win the game. Gary Baker contributed two assists and two digs. Gabriel Castro knocked down an impressive 16 kills on a .433 percentage. He also added an ace, four digs, and two block assists. Stephen Porras reach double-digit kills with 12, along with three assists, six digs, and two solo blocks. Parker Oldham held his own with two kills, two assists, and four digs against the Battlers. Aleksa Bijelic had an outstanding night as the setter, ending with two kills, 54 assists (a season-high), an ace, five digs, and a block assist.
In the fifth set alone, 28 lead changes, including 14 ties, occurred with overtime being needed to settle the score. Coker faced four match points but kept finding way to stay alive. The Cobras were down by two on three separate occasions and the largest from Coker was two, i.e. the winning point. They drew first blood in the set on a Castro kill from Bijelic and Santos accounted for six of the 11 kills in the fifth. To swing the lead for the win, Castro earned a kill off the serve of Alderson Broaddus to tie. The next two serves were by Oldham, leading to consecutive solo blocks by Santos of different Battlers.
The Navy and Gold will face the other semi-final winner, the No. 1 seed Lincoln Memorial, in the championship match slated for 3:00 p.m. To follow along, please visit www.cokercobras.com.