Purdue Fort Wayne middle to compete in FIVB Challenger Cup

Photo courtesy of Purdue Fort Wayne athletics

An All-MIVA middle attacker will help Chile try to earn the final berth to most prestigious annual international men’s volleyball event.

Purdue Fort Wayne middle attacker Tomas Gago was selected to the Chilean Men’s National Team roster for the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup that will begin on Wednesday in Slovenia.

The Challenger Cup is comprised of six teams with the tournament champion qualifying for the 2020 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. The Volleyball Nations League features the top men’s volleyball national teams competing in a two-month tournament.


Gago led the Mastodons with a .341 attack percentage last season and had double-digit kills in three conference matches as he helped Purdue Fort Wayne reach the MIVA Tournament semifinals. The middle attacker through his first two college seasons is among the top 10 in Purdue Fort Wayne’s program history with a .348 attack percentage.

This will be the second consecutive year that Gago has competed with Chile in the Challenger Cup. Gago finished the 2018 event with a .348 attack percentage, but Chile was unable to advance out of the opening round.

Chile at No. 37 in the FIVB World Rankings is the lowest ranked team in its Challenger Cup three-team pool. The host nation Slovenia is ranked No. 17, while Turkey enters the tournament at No. 33.

The top-two teams in the pool following the round-robin opening round will advance to the semifinals.

Chile arrives to the Challenger Cup following a fourth-place finish at the Pan American Cup earlier this month, which included a victory against the United States.