Emmanuel soars past Erskine for program’s first ConfCarolinas Tournament win

Photo courtesy of Emmanuel athletics

Don Thompson after five years of waiting was not going to be denied being a part of the first Emmanuel team to win a ConfCarolinas Tournament match.

Thompson had a match-high 14 kills on a .524 attack percentage as the No. 6 seed Emmanuel swept the No. 7 seed Erskine 25-21, 25-13, 25-18 in the conference tournament opening round on Thursday in Royston, Georgia.

Emmanuel (10-12, 6-8 ConfCarolinas) was making its second appearance in the ConfCarolinas Tournament since transitioning from the NAIA to NCAA Division II and becoming postseason eligible in 2019. Thompson ended the regular season in the conference’s top 10 averaging 3.35 kills per game to help the Lions earn the No. 6 seed and home court for the opening round.


The redshirt senior from Hawaii playing hybrid middle attacker and opposite also contributed an ace and a team-high three blocks in the postseason victory.

Thompson was one of two Lions with double-digit kills against Erskine (9-15, 4-9 ConfCarolinas). Senior outside attacker Aleksa Lakic contributed 12 kills while hitting .308.

Setter Henrik Westhoff had 30 assists and guided the Emmanuel offense to a .392 attack percentage. Erskine was limited to a zero attack percentage, including hitting a match-worst negative-.167 in the 12-point second-game loss.

Outside attacker Alex Drogemuller in the loss led Erskine with eight kills. Drogemuller, though, was the only player on the Fleet to have more than five kills.

With this loss, Erskine remains winless in postseason play since 2016 when it won the ConfCarolinas championship and reached the NCAA Tournament.

Emmanuel following this postseason win will advance to play the No. 3 seed North Greenville in the ConfCarolinas Tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday. The two teams split their two regular season matches with Emmanuel winning the most recent meeting in five games in March.