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Sunday, April 18, 2021
Hurdle & Queens Fall in IVA Championship Final

Ty Hurdle and his second-seeded Queens University of Charlotte Men's Volleyball teammates ended its 2021 season with a runner-up finish in the 2021 IVA Championships inside Curry Arena. Queens suffered a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23) loss to top-seeded Lincoln Memorial University, which won its third straight tournament title.

For Queens, the second-place finish was their second in as many tournaments. Lincoln Memorial hit .354 on offense in the win while Queens hit .244 as a unit despite nine total Lincoln Memorial blocks.

The opening set of play was all offense as both sides hit above .340. The game featured 13 ties on the scoreboard and three lead changes as Queens held an advantage of 22-21 late in the set on a kill from Tristan Santoyo. Lincoln Memorial rallied, scoring four of the final five points, ending the set on back-to-back kills from Jacob Titus to take the early match lead.

In the second, Lincoln Memorial outhit Queens .444 to .226 for a 2-0 match lead. The third set of action was once again a back-and-forth affair with the two teams tying the score on seven separate occasions. Queens battled back from a 5-2 deficit to even the score at 10-all on consecutive kills from Josh Bragg and Brandon Grabow, however, Lincoln Memorial used a 4-0 run to regain the lead.

Queens continued to keep it close, tying the score once more at 17-all with three unanswered points, Queens and Lincoln Memorial traded points down the stretch as a Nic Cavallaro kill kept the score even at 21-21 before Titus and Johansen Negron recorded consecutive kills to give Lincoln Memorial breathing room. Negron ended the match with his 16th kill of the day and gave Lincoln Memorial the title.

Negron was named the 2021 IVA Championships Most Outstanding Player after totaling 23 kills (3.83/set), 15 digs (2.5/set), and three service aces while hitting .500 on the outside. Lincoln Memorial teammates Pedro Carvalho, AJ Risavy, and Justin Sharfenaker joined Negron on the All-Tournament Team.

For Queens, Bragg, Santoyo, and Stirling Sims each earned a place on the All-Tournament Team. Santoyo led Queens' offense in the finale with 13 kills, while Sims hit .455 in the middle and had three total blocks. Grabow paced the offense with 34 assists and Cavallaro led the defense with seven digs.
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