Freshman sparks Lincoln Memorial past No. 19 Charleston

Photo courtesy of Queens athletics

Freshman outside attacker Griffin Wheatley made the most of an opportunity to come off the bench and play in their second collegiate match.

Wheatley had the match-winning kill and three kills in the second half of the decisive fifth game as Lincoln Memorial defeated No. 19 Charleston 25-22, 19-25, 25-16, 21-25, 15-12 on Saturday in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Lincoln Memorial and Charleston in a match-up between two of the top NCAA Division II teams in the nation were tied at 11-11 in the final game before Wheatley had a kill to give the Railsplitters the lead. The match-winning kill from Wheatley also capped off a 5-1 run to close out the match.

Wheatley was inserted into the lineup early in the third game and finished with 11 kills on a .381 attack percentage.


Lincoln Memorial out-hit Charleston .315 to .225, including having a .429 attack percentage in the fifth game. In addition, four Railsplitters had double-digit kills en route to the team earing its 30th consecutive home win dating back to 2021

Opposite Justin Sharfenaker led Lincoln Memorial (4-2, 1-0 IVA) with 13 kills and opened the match with five kills in the first game. Middle attacker Matthew Gentry contributed 11 kills on a .444 attack percentage, while outside attacker Shay Spadaro added 10 kills.

Middle attacker Ethan Morgan also had seven kills and zero errors on a match-best .700 attack percentage against Charleston (4-1, 0-0 EIVA).

Charleston outside attacker Ras Jesse Delancy in the loss finished with a match-high 19 kills on a .452 attack percentage. Delancy was the only Golden Eagle to have more than five kills and hit more than .200.

Lincoln Memorial out-blocked Charleston 10.5 to 9. Sharfenaker led all players with five blocks, and Gentry added four blocks in the non-conference victory.

Along with Charleston being ranked in the Division I-II national coaches poll, both teams entered this match ranked in the Division II national coaches poll. Charleston was No. 2 in the latest poll with 88 points – 14 points head of No. 3 Lincoln Memorial.

The next Division II national coaches poll will be released Tuesday on Off the Block.