Seven Phoenix earn men's volleyball All-MSC honors

Apr. 20—Seven Cumberland men's volleyball players have been honored with All Mid-South Conference accolades, as announced by league officials Thursday.

As the MSC tournament gets underway, the Phoenix secured two first-team all-conference selections, with four members earning second-team recognition.

Senior Caleb Ginnings, a cornerstone of Cumberland's volleyball team, concludes his collegiate career with first-team honors. Ginnings, ranking second in the NAIA, tallied 282 digs during the regular season, averaging 3.20 digs per set. He also recorded 571 reception passes and 52 assists while defending the Phoenix's back line in all 25 matches.

Joining Ginnings on the first team is Jacob Whyte, a standout newcomer for Cumberland. Whyte led the team in kills by over 200, totaling 332 regular-season kills, which ranks him third in the NAIA and second in the Mid-South. His attack percentage of .309% also places him second in the NAIA. Whyte impressed with 20 or more kills in four matches and led the Phoenix with 29 service aces.

Senior Luka Ilic was also named to the first team for his contributions this season, finishing with the second-highest kill count on the team at 110, averaging 2.44 kills per set, which ranks him eighth in the NAIA. Ilic also chipped in 43 digs and 12 blocks over his 17 appearances.

Kaden Kuehler was a force to be reckoned with in Cumberland's blocking efforts this season, earning him a spot on the second team all-conference. The middle attacker closed out the regular season with 52 total blocks, ranking him eighth in the NAIA. His average of 0.70 blocks per set ranked sixth in the NAIA. Kuehler also made contributions on the offensive end, recording 81 kills throughout the season.

Austin Smalley joins Kaden Kuehler on the second team. The junior middle wrapped up the regular season with 103 kills with a strong .268 attack percentage. Smalley also contributed significantly on defense, recording the second-highest block count for the Phoenix with 31 total blocks.

Freshman Alexander Heuer quarterbacked a 5-1 offense for the majority of the season, finishing with a total of 659 assists, ranking second in the NAIA. He also contributed defensively with 126 digs, the second most on the team to earn Second Team honors.

Kix Ferrell also earned a spot on the second team. Ferrell posted 85 kills from the outside while hitting .164 this season. He also added 11 blocks this season.