Outside attacker Kaelen Ingram didn’t waste any time putting up a big offensive performance for the defending SIAC champions.
Ingram led all players with a career-high 26 kills on a .413 attack percentage as Edward Waters defeated Erskine 21-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-18, 15-13 on Friday in Due West, South Carolina.
Ingram capped off the season-opening win with a game-high four kills in the decisive fifth game. The junior from Belize had back-to-back kills midway through the game to jumpstart a 4-0 run and erase a three-point deficit en route to Edward Waters beating a ConfCarolinas school for the second time in program history.
Along with fifth-game performance, Ingram had 11 kills in the team’s second-game victory.
Setter Kenyon Haynes guided the Edward Waters offense to out-hit Erskine .325 to .308. The Tigers had more than a .350 attack percentage in four of the five games, including hitting a match-best .455 in the fourth game.
Outside attacker Richard Hendricks contributed 19 kills on a .333 attack percentage against Erskine. In addition, Hendricks defensively led all players with 10 digs.
Despite the loss, Erskine out-blocked Edward Waters 12 to 4 with middle attacker Shayo Asiru having a match-high seven blocks.
Outside attacker Edgerrin Austin led Erskine with both three aces and 19 kills on a .333 attack percentage. Outside attacker Pablo Zamar also finished with 19 kills and hit .485 against Erskine.
The victory extends Edward Waters’ winning streak to nine matches dating back to last season. The Tigers in 2023 went undefeated in conference play and won the SIAC championship for the first time in program history.
This will be the first season that a SIAC team will advance to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA in the offseason expanded the tournament field to eight teams and awarded an automatic bid to the SIAC.
The winner of the SIAC Tournament in April will receive the conference’s inaugural berth to the NCAA Tournament.