King battles Ball State in tough 3-1 setback

BRISTOL, Tenn. - King College battled Ball State (Ind.) University Saturday, but the visiting Cardinals posted a 3-1 decision over the Tornado in men's volleyball play.

King's record went to 8-6 with the result while Ball State, right outside the Top-15 in the last AVCA NCAA Division I/II Coaches' Poll, owns a 14-8 record after the match.

The visitors from Ball State took sets one and two by scores of 25-21 and 25-19 before the Tornado answered with a 26-24 set three victory. However game four closed out the match when Ball State posted a 26-24 score.

King came out early and took momentum against Ball State with a 4-1 lead. The Tornado eventually led 7-3 after a Ball State service error. The home team kept the lead until a Lee Myer kill made the score 19-18 to cap four straight Cardinal points. Brandon Rorer (Richmond, Va.) tied things up the next point, but the next two were scored by Ball State. From there the Cardinals built a 24-20 advantage before the set ended at 25-21.

In the second King and Ball State battled early. The first time a team led by two points was by the Cardinals at 8-6 after a King attack error. Ball State held onto the advantage, but the Tornado made it 19-19 at one point. After that Ball State scored six straight to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Ball State jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and maintained the margin until a Rorer kill tied things at 13. A Jenson Lavallee (Henderson, Nev.) ace gave King a 14-13 advantage after four straight Tornado scores. The lead changed hands five more times, but King used an attack error to take a 23-22 advantage. Ball State scored two straight, but King answered with a James Friddle (Cartersville, Ga.) kill followed by two Cardinal attack errors to take the third 26-24.

In the finale King owned a 6-3 lead before the Cards flew back to a 6-6 tie. The Tornado rode momentum to a 10-7 lead and built the difference to as many as six, 16-10. Ball State came back to tie things at 19 apiece and the final set had four ties before a King attack error brought the contest to an end.

Friddle paced King with 15 kills while Lavallee and Rorer both finished with nine kills. Lavallee served four aces with two blocks.

Joel Salva (Lake Mary, Fla.) provided 35 assists and was a dig away from a double double. Morris Cephas (Richmond, Va.) recorded 13 digs as King had one more than Ball State, 46-45.

Eric Glenn (Portsmouth, Va.) recorded six total blocks with four being solo.

Larry Wrather paced Ball State with 16 kills out of the team's 51. Graham McIlvaine gave out 31 assists with five digs.

The match had 27 ties during the four sets of action.

A season ago when the two played at Ball State, King lost 3-0.

King travels to play at Quincy (Ill.) on Monday for a 7 p.m. contest followed by an 8 p.m. meeting at Carthage (Wis.).