Springfield, Ohio – The Wittenberg men's volleyball team advanced to their first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference tournament final, taking down Penn St. Behrend in an exciting five-set match, 3-2 [26-24, 19-25, 25-13, 24-26, 15-11]. The Tigers logged a .208 attacking percentage on the night, planting 64 kills on 173 total attack attempts on the night. Ashton Sellers led the Tiger attack with a season-high 24 kills on 53 kills, hitting .302 against the Lions from PSU-Behrend, adding 14 digs and three blocks. Deion Woodson was the second Tiger to finish with double-digit kills on the night, adding 13 kills and 10 digs with three blocks to his credit.
Wittenberg jumped out to a quick 10-7 lead in the first set, before PSU-Behrend came back to tie things up at 11-11. The early back and forth battle by the two sides showed multiple ties, before a kill by Sellers helped the Red and White regain the lead at 20-19. As the momentum shifted the Wittenberg way after a Lions timeout, the Tigers took a 23-21 after Troy Boucher kept the ball alive for the Red and White. After Behrend battled back to tie things back at 23-23. Isaiah Brock threw down the final kill to give Wittenberg the first set win, 26-24. Behrend took the early advantage in the second set, forcing the Tiger timeout at 10-6. The Lions would go on to take the second set with a 25-19 win. Wittenberg bounced back in the third set with a kill and a block by Sellers, taking the early 5-3 advantage. Sellers would come back to help extend the Tiger advantage with another kill, taking the Wittenberg lead out to 8-5. Collin Buelow helped double the Wittenberg lead, going up 20-10 picking up one of his two blocks on the night. One final kill by Woodson would seal the third set win for the Red and White at 25-13. A tough back and forth battle in the fourth set swung in favor of Penn St. Behrend, as the Lions came out on top with the 26-24 win. Witt would win the race to 15, taking the fifth set hitting .421 with 10 kills on 19 swings. Gabriel Lamar and Woodson combined on the block to give Wittenberg the 11-6 advantage heading down the stretch. Sellers and Brock would each provide the final two kills for the Red and White to seal the win.
Who Stood Out
Ross Russell provided 47 of the 60 assists on the night for the Red and White, adding 16 digs and one block. Noah Wissel added nine assists with two digs for the Tigers. Brock and Lamar each finished the night with nine kills. Lamar tallied a team-high seven blocks, while Brock added four.
From The Bench
"We are very excited to be moving onto the finals tomorrow. Penn St. Behrend certainly did not make it easy on us, but we were able to make some adjustments and find a way to win. Tomorrow against Thiel is going to be another dog fight that we have to be prepared for, but we are looking forward to the challenge," said head coach Ryan Thompson.
Wittenberg will away the winner of #2 Geneva College and #3 Thiel College to face off tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM in the AMCC Tournament Championship.