Purdue Fort Wayne middle makes Chilean roster for Challenger Cup

Photo courtesy of FIVB

A MIVA All-Freshman is playing for his country’s national team in its biggest international tournament of the year.

Purdue Fort Wayne middle attacker Tomas Gago was named to Chile’s roster for the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup that is taking place this week in Portugal.

Gago is the second youngest player on the Chilean Men’s National Team and joins the team following his first season with the Mastodons.

The middle attacker finished last season seventh in the MIVA averaging 0.98 blocks per game. In addition, Gago had a .356 attack percentage and at least eight kills in seven matches as he helped the Mastodons end the year ranked No. 15 in the national coaches poll.

The Volleyball Challenger Cup is comprised of six teams that are playing for a single spot in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League. The champion of the Challenger Cup will replace the last-place team from this year in the 16-team Volleyball Nations League.

Teams, excluding the host nation of Portugal, had to win qualification tournaments to make the Volleyball Challenger Cup. Chile earned its berth after winning the CSV Challenger Cup in May.

Chile opened the Volleyball Challenge Cup with a three-game loss to Czech Republic on Thursday. Gago coming off the bench had five kills and a block.

Chile now faces a must-win match against Cuba on Friday in order to qualify for the semifinals.