Quick-hit guide to IVA Tournament semifinal matches

Photo by Jay Sowers

Jonathan Bates | Off the Block Associate Editor

The IVA Tournament bracket and the semifinal match-ups are set. Check out the quick-hit guide of what to know about both opening-round matches.

No. 1 seed Lincoln Memorial (16-7) vs. No. 4 Daemen (6-15)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. Harrogate, Tennessee
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Season series: DNP (Feb. 23 match was cancelled)
Last IVA Tournament title: Lincoln Memorial (2018); Daemen (never)
Stats to know: Lincoln Memorial won the IVA Tournament title last year and are the overwhelming favorites to repeat. The Railsplitters are 4-0 versus Queens and Coker, and have lost one game in those four matches. Lincoln Memorial comes into the match having won their final six matches of the regular season, while first-year program, Daemen, comes into the match having lost their last three matches. Railsplitter opposite Evan Cory was named Independent Teams Player of Year on Thursday after finishing the regular season Cory finished the regular season ranked eighth in the nation with a 4.05 kills per game average and third in the nation with an average of 0.60 aces per game. Joining Cory on the 2019 Off the Block All-Independent Team were setter AJ Risavy and middle attacker Pedro Carvalho. Lincoln Memorial ranks second in the nation with 1.90 aces per game, sixth in the nation with 2.51 blocks per game, and fifth in the nation with a 0.222 opponent attack percentage. Daemen’s lone representative on the All-Independent team was opposite Jabari Winfield who leads the team with an average of 2.89 kills per game. Daemen also ranks in the top three nationally with an opponent attack percentage of 0.213.

No. 2 seed Queens (9-18) vs. No. 3 seed Coker (5-15)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. in Harrogate, Tennessee
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Season series: Queens leads 2-0 (won both matches in four games)
Last IVA Tournament title: Queens (never); Coker (never)
Stats to know: Queens comes into the match having won five of the previous seven matches, while Coker has lost their last seven matches. Queens matched Lincoln Memorial with three players on the 2019 All-Independent Team – outside attacker Tristan Santoyo, middle attacker JP Payne, and libero Ruben Greenstein. Queens ranked sixth nationally with a 9.66 digs per game average, led by Greenstein’s 2.10 digs/game. Coker setter Brandon Ravelo was named Independent Teams Freshman of the Year on Thursday. Ravelo was second among all freshmen setters with an average of 9.59 assists per game, and led the Cobras with 25 aces on the season. Coker’s lone representative on the 2019 Off the Block All-Independent Team was opposite Joao Victor Santos whose 3.61 kills per game average ranked in the top-20 nationally. In their Jan. 29 match, Queens out-blocked Coker, 12 to 2, and in the Mar. 26 match, Queens hit a then-program best 0.374 for the match.

Losers of both matches will play in the Consolation Match on Saturday at 11 a.m., while the winners will play in the Championship Match at 2 p.m. on Saturday.