King battles with No. 14 Lewis in season opener

BRISTOL, Tenn. - The King College men's volleyball team started the 2011 season Friday with a 3-1 setback against No. 14 Lewis (Ill.) University.

King, at 0-1, has a 4:30 p.m. match Saturday against defending Conference Carolinas champion Mount Olive (N.C.) College in the first league match for both teams. Mount Olive lost a 3-0 contest earlier Friday to Lewis, now at 2-0 on the season.

The opening two sets went to Lewis 25-20 and 25-14 before King took a 25-22 decision. The contest was finished after a 25-15 win for Lewis in the fourth.

The Tornado opened the match going toe to toe with the national power. The teams traded points until Lewis scored two straight after the score was tied at 12 and led the rest of the way. The Tornado had leads early, including an 11-9 advantage.

The second set saw both teams once again trade points, but Lewis went on a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie en route to the 25-14 decision.

The next set was nip and tuck early, but a King rally gave the home team an 11-7 lead. The Tornado maintained at least a two-point lead the rest of the way. King was able to post a hitting percentage of .304 in the set.

The fourth and final set saw Lewis go on a 13-3 run to close out the match. King jumped out to a 7-3 lead, but Lewis tied things at 8-8.

Jenson Lavallee (Henderson, Nev.) had nine kills for King with Michael Koebel (Richmond, Va.) adding eight along with the only ace for the Tornado. Joel Salva (Lake Mary, Fla.) finished with 29 assists.

Lewis got 13 kills from Aaron Flick and 11 by Jay Petty. B.J. Boldog was credited with 32 assists and three solo blocks. Roberto Davis and Ian Karbiener both had nine digs.