BRISTOL, Tenn. - King College saw Mount Olive (N.C.) College come and take the 2011 season opener of Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action Saturday by the score of 3-1.
Mount Olive, the defending league champion, got the opening set 27-25 and King evened the score thanks to a 25-19 decision. The visitors took the next two 25-15 and 25-18 to gain an early conference lead in the standings.
King had two match points in the first set, but could not convert. Eventually Mount Olive used a block by Bjorn Metzger on an attempt by Joel Salva (Lake Mary, Fla.) to end the first. King had a 9-5 lead earlier in the set, but Mount Olive gained control to lead 12-9 as a kill by Metzger capped the run. The home team fought back to take a 14-12 lead. From there the set was tied 11 times until Mount Olive's winning point. The largest lead down the stretch was two, 20-18, by Mount Olive.
The second set belonged to King. The home team scored the first five points and did not trail. Mount Olive made a run to get within one, 8-7, but Brandon Rorer (Richmond, Va.) provided a kill which started an 8-0 run. The lead would be as many as 10, 18-8.
Four straight points early put Mount Olive up 5-2 and King could not rally. After the second straight ace by Angel Dache made it 5-2, he served up an error. The two-point deficit was as close as King would be the rest of the way. Mount Olive got four more points and went from there.
Mount Olive led for all of the fourth including opening at 5-1. King was down three, 6-3, but no closer. The seven-point margin at the end of the set matched the largest lead Mount Olive had.
King got 10 kills apiece from Michael Koebel (Richmond, Va.), Jenson Lavallee (Henderson, Nev.) and Alex Oliveria (Goiania, Brazil). Koebel also served up two of King's four aces in the contest. Salva provided 32 assists along with two kills.
Dache finished with a match-best 14 kills. John Nunns had 10 kills in a match where he hit .750. Adam Miracle also hit .556 with a dozen kills. Jackson Nettechecchi was credited with 48 assists and had four total blocks.
After the match King went to 0-2 on the season while Mount Olive's record evened up at 1-1.
King returns to action next weekend at the second annual Charlie Wrublewski Men's Volleyball Tournament hosted by the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Tornado will take on Rust and host Mount St. Joseph on Saturday and then on Sunday battle Missouri Valley and Siena Heights.
The next conference match for King comes up on Jan. 27 at home against Limestone (S.C.).