Opposite Evens Edouard saved their best performance of the season for when it mattered the most.
Edouard led all players with both a season-high 20 kills on a .390 attack percentage and 15 digs as Edward Waters defeated Central State 25-17, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 in the SIAC Tournament finals on Friday in Fort Valley, Georgia.
The sophomore from the Dominican Republic had 12 kills in the final two games, including a game-high five kills in the final game. Edouard also recorded three of the Tigers final five points to help the second-year program secure their first SIAC championship.
This was the second consecutive postseason match that Edouard had double-digit kills. Edouard also had 15 kills in the team’s semifinals sweep against Fort Valley State en route to being named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Setter Jhoan Capellan had 41 assists and guided the Edward Waters offense to out-hit Central State .315 to .127. In addition, the Tigers (16-4, 10-0 SIAC) in their eight-point first-game win committed one error and had a match-best .550 attack percentage.
Three Tigers finished with double-digit kills in the championship victory.
Outside attacker Kaelen Ingram had 10 kills and hit .350, while outside attacker Bryan Pepen added 12 kills.
Along with Edouard offensive performance, the opposite had five blocks against Central State. Middle attacker Joelvi Jimenz had a match-high six blocks to help Edward Waters finish with nine blocks – 3.5 more blocks than Central State (18-15, 8-2 SIAC).
Central State outside attacker Cameron Lee in the loss had a team-high 14 kills. Middle attacker D’Aaron McCraney contributed 11 kills and hit .308 – the only Central State player to have more than five kills and .200 attack percentage.
Central State was attempting to repeat as SIAC champions after defeating Edward Waters in the conference tournament finals last season.