CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (MCVL.org) – The 2019 MCVL Tournament opens on Friday night from inside the Tarble Arena on the campus of Carthage. This year's tournament features Carthage, Fontbonne, Loras and North Central as the top-four teams. As the regular season champion with a perfect 9-0 record, Carthage earned the right to host the semifinal and championship rounds.
PREVIEWING THE RED MEN
Preseason favorite and finishing the conference on top is No. 1 seed Red Men as they finish the regular season with a 22-1 overall record and undefeated in conference play. Carthage ranks as the No. 1 seed in the AVCA Poll and have been in the top-15 all season starting at No. 3 at the beginning of the season.
Matt Silvinski leads the Red Men offensive with 250 kills, averaging 3.63 per set, finishing with a .330 attacking percentage. On the defensive side, Evan Walsh adds 160 digs with 2.39 digs per set, while Parker Connolly and Eric Winter have put down 58.0 blocks a piece.
Carthage opens the weekend against fourth-seeded North Central at 7:00 p.m. on Friday.
PREVIEWING THE GRIFFINS
Fontbonne enters the tournament with a 23-2 overall record, 7-2 in conference as the No. 2 seed. The Griffins are on a hot streak as they have won six straight matches to wrap up the regular season. Finishing just outside the AVCA Poll receiving four votes the Griffins came into the season picked to finish sixth in the MCVL.
Leading Fontbonne offensively is sophomore Mark Klusman with 197 kills and 3.08 kills per set. Defensively the Griffins are led by two-time MCVL POTW Zach Rothstein with his 231 digs averaging 3.12 digs per set.
Fontbonne opens the weekend against third-seeded Loras at 4:00 p.m. on Friday.
PREVIEWING THE DUHAWKS
The Duhawks enter the weekend finishing their regular season campaign 21-6 with a 6-3 MCVL record as the No. 3 seed. Loras holding up their preseason coaches poll as they were originally selected as the No. 3 seed after making their first MCVL Tournament appearance last season.
Led offensively by Mihajlo Gomez as he powered down 227 kills averaging 3.07 kills per set. On the defensive side, Ian Walsh has dominated the net putting down 83.0 blocks averaging 0.92 blocks per set.
Loras opens the tournament against second-seeded Fontbonne at 4:00 p.m. on Friday.
PREVIEWING THE CARDINALS
North Central enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed after a 16-10 campaign with a 6-3 MCVL record. Preseason picked as No. 2 in the conference, the Cardinals were ranked as high as No. 7 in the AVCA Poll.
Jacob Zemba and Bozhidar Kolev lead the Cardinals with 231 and 237 total kills respectively. Samuel Kharasch added 206 digs while Anthony Kluzak put down 67 blocks.
North Central opens the weekend against top-seeded Carthage at 7:00 p.m. on Friday.
The 2019 MCVL Tournament begins on Friday, April 12 with the semifinal matches at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 13, the winners from each semifinal meet for a shot at the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the championship match scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.