Fort Valley State sweeps Central State to win SIAC championship

Photo courtesy of the SIAC

Perfection turned into a historical championship for Fort Valley State.

Fort Valley State completed its undefeated season in conference play as it swept Central State 25-21, 25-17, 25-15 in the SIAC Tournament finals on Friday in Jacksonville, Florida to clinch a berth to the NCAA Tournament.

This is the first time a SIAC team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament as an automatic bid. Fort Valley State (16-8, 9-0 SIAC) was one of six SIAC schools that started its program in 2022 when the NCAA Division II conference started to sponsor men’s volleyball

Fort Valley State in the championship win finished with nine aces – more than double its amount of service errors and seven more aces than Central State (9-26, 5-5 SIAC).


Outside attacker Jaxon Hicks led all players with three aces and was one of Wildcats with multiple aces. Outside attacker Chey Cooper aso had aces on three consecutive points during a 7-0 run late in the third-game to secure the victory.

Along with the serving performance, Cooper had 10 kills on a .368 attack percentage.

Opposite Isaiah Fedd finished with a team-high 13 kills, including having two kills as part of a 10-2 run to close out the second game. Middle attacker Saferino Dour also contributed six kills and zero errors on a .600 attack percentage.

Fort Valley State out-hit Central State .253 to .127 and limited the Marauders to a match-low .093 attack percentage in the final game.

Outside attacker Tyrone Sands in the loss had a match-high 17 kills. Sands, though, was the only Central State player to have more than five kills.

Central State as the No. 3 seed advanced to the finals after upsetting the defending SIAC champions Edward Waters in the semifinals on Thursday.

Fort Valley State as the SIAC champion will advance to the eight-team NCAA Tournament in Long Beach, California. The Wildcats are projected to be the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.