January 18, 20191st2nd3rdFinal
Bluefield College2525253
Cumberland Univ.1720220
BLUETeam StatsCU
.297Hitting Pct.-.056
64Total Attacks90
Chiaparini - 12
KillsLester - 8
Franqui - 26
AssistsKnight - 12
AcesSturzoiu - 2
Owens - 6
DigsSturzoiu - 5
Chiaparini - 8
BlocksAmorim - 3
Bluefield too much for CU men in first-ever match
Friday, January 18, 2019
Bluefield too much for CU men in first-ever match
Christian Lester led the Phoenix with eight kills in the team's first-ever match, a loss to Bluefield College on Friday night. (Credit Coy Gill)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Christian Lester posted eight kills and Angel Acevedo Reyes added seven, but Bluefield College countered with 12 kills from Alberto Chiaparini and 26 assists by Chaz Franqui, holding off Cumberland in the final two sets in the inaugural match for the Phoenix men’s volleyball program here Friday night at Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena.

Cumberland plays again Saturday at 3 p.m. against Fontbonne University to conclude its matches in the Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge.

The Phoenix started slow in the first set but played much better in the final two, going point-for-point with the Rams to 15-all in the second set and doing in the same in the third before falling short. CU finished with 27 kills and 32 errors, the timing off several times on passes and sets, much of that correctable with match play for the squad.

The Rams jumped ahead in the opening set behind kills from Eric Duron, Aieron Leary and Carleek Owens, but a block from CU’s Arthur Amorim and Lester pulled the Phoenix within 5-4. Bluefield got kills by Chiaparnini and Franqui before four consecutive service errors, two by each team.

Duron and Chiaparini combined for a block and Duron followed with a kill. Cumberland posted two straight attack errors, extending the Rams advantage to 14-8.

Chiaparini’s kill and solo block and a combo block from Duron and Chiaparini made it 20-12 for Bluefield. Lester collected three kills over the next six points to keep CU in the set, but Duron tallied two spikes and Leary added one before a final error by the Phoenix for the final point gave the Rams a 25-17 set.

The home team got off to a much better start in the second set, with Mason Chambers and Acevedo Reyes providing kills and Amorim and Stephan Davis combining for a block. Lester recorded two more kills to even the set at five.

The teams went back-and-forth, with Tyler Sturzoiu and Lester collecting kills, but Duron and Leary posted a block for Bluefield and Owens added a spike. Lester’s two kills pulled the Phoenix within 17-16, but the Rams scored three of the next four points, forcing a timeout by CU.

Duron and Franqui registered a block and Chiaparini got a solo before combining with Duron for another block and a 23-18 Rams advantage. Chambers provided a kill for the Phoenix, but a kill by Duron and then a block from Chiaparini and Duron finished the set for Bluefield, 25-20.

Cumberland got off to a quick start in the third set behind kills from Acevedo Reyes and Amorim and a block by Davis. Chiaparini answered with three kills for the Rams, but Lester and Davis kept CU close with spikes, evening the set at nine.

Sturzoiu posted two service aces and Bluefield committed an error for a 13-10 CU lead, but the Rams answered with a 7-2 spurt that included kills by Owens and Chiaparini as well as a solo block from Chiaparini and then a combo block by Duron and Chiaparini.

Chambers and Davis posted kills to get the Phoenix as close as 21-19 and kills by Amorim and Acevedo Reyes kept the deficit at two, but Duron collected a kill and the match ended on a service error by the Phoenix for a 25-22 final set score.