HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker College men's volleyball team is set to host the inaugural Independent Volleyball Association (IVA) Championship this Friday (Apr. 7) and Saturday (Apr. 8) in the DeLoach Center. The Cobras will compete in two matches on Friday. The first match will be at 5 p.m. against Lincoln Memorial, followed by the second match at 7 p.m. against Alderson Broaddus. On Saturday, Lincoln Memorial and Alderson Broaddus will play each other at 1 p.m., followed by the championship game at 3 p.m. Live stats and video for all four matches can be found at www.cokercobras.com/sports/mvball/2016-17/iva17.
Coker and Alderson Broaddus have met twice this season with the Cobras picking up victories in both matches. The first meeting was a 3-2 Coker victory back on Feb. 11 at Alderson Broaddus. During that match, the Navy and Gold had a stand out performance from Joao Victor Santos who belted an impressive 26 kills, the second highest mark in program history. On the defensive end of the ball, Devion Whetstone played stout defense with six total blocks. The second meeting between the Cobras and Battlers was a dominant 3-0 Coker sweep on Mar. 24. During that match, the Cobras were led by Artur Cabral and Joao Victor Santos who each laid down a team-best 11 kills. In addition, Cabral finished with a .350 kill percentage, while Santos accumulated a .400 kill percentage. On the defensive end of the ball, Cabral and Santos also gave the Navy and Gold standout performances by leading the team in digs (Santos, eight) and total blocks (Cabral, three).
The Cobras head into this weekend's tournament with a 12-9 overall record that includes a 5-3 mark at home. Statistically, Coker is third in the nation in aces per set, averaging 1.78. Offensively, the Cobras are led by Off The Block/Springbak All-IVA Team selection Joao Victor Santos. The Coker opposite hitter leads the team in kills with 201. In addition, Santos is ranked within the top 20 in the nation in both kills per set and points per set. On the defensive side of the ball, the Navy and Gold are led by Gary Baker (146 digs) and Luca Berger (58 total blocks).
Alderson Broaddus comes into this weekend's tournament with a 4-15 overall record and are led by Off The Block/Springbak All-IVA Team selections Obenda Besongngem and Myles Miller. Besongngem leads Alderson Broaddus and is in the nation's top 50 with a 2.79 kills per game average, including a season-high 20 kills in a five-game victory against Belmont Abbey in February. Miller is second in the nation with a 1.23 blocks per game average and had seven matches with at least five blocks during the regular season. The middle attacker also leads the Battlers and is among the nation's top 40 with a .316 attack percentage.
Lincoln Memorial holds a 10-15 overall record heading into this weekend's championship. The Railsplitters are led by Off The Block/Springbak All-IVA Team selections Evan Cory, Josh Riblett, and Pedro Carvalho. Cory is among the Lincoln Memorial leaders with a 2.87 kills per game average and had double-digit kills in 14 regular season matches. Riblett ended the regular season leading Lincoln Memorial and in the nation's top 50 with a 2.87 kills per game average. Lastly, Carvalho leads Lincoln Memorial and is in the nation's top 30 with a 0.98 blocks per game average.
Tickets for the matches are $5 for adults, $3 for students and free to all Coker faculty, staff and students.