Tornado Split in Opening Day of Charlie Wrubezki Tournament

* photos courtesy of Jennifer Friddle (FriddlePhotography.com)
CINCINNATI , Ohio – King Men's Volleyball began its run in the Charlie Wrubezki Tournament, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, with an optimistic first day. The Tornado exited the Harrington Center with a split in two matches, beating Sienna Heights University in straight sets (25-21, 25-15, 25-12) before falling to a strong team from the Missouri Valley College in five games (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 8-15).
 

SIENA HEIGHTS 0, KING 3 (25-21, 25-15, 25-12)

Two Tornado players hit .300 or better and registered six kills in the process in their three-set win over the Siena Heights Saints. Brandon Rorer (Richmond, Va.), senior Eric Glenn (Portsmouth, Va.) and freshman Matt Harper (Matoaca, Va.) all finished with six kills apiece and converted at least half of their attack attempts. Harper finished with the highest attack percentage, knocking down 75 percent of his attempts.

Rorer posted 10 digs and a .454 kill percentage with his six kills to help the Tornado toward the win. He also contributed eight digs and two blocks. Glenn finished with 3.5 blocks with one solo in addition to six kills and a .333 hit percentage. James Friddle (Cartersville, Ga.) led the Tornado with a team-high eight kills on 17 attempts (.290).

Justin Crane (Richmond, Va.) registered 29 of King's 32 assists on the day and added two service aces and three digs. Ned Parker (Richmond, Va.) led the team with 11 digs to make for the second Tornado team member with 10 or more digs.

King as a team hit 44.1 percent and committed only seven errors, combined. They matched their number of team errors with number of blocks at the net (7.0).

"It was really good to get back into a winning pattern," said Head Coach Ryan Booher. "It will be important to be able to generate this type of momentum when it need it most as well as riding that momentum into the next match."

 

KING 2, MISSOURI VALLEY 3 (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 8-15)

The Tornado played a solid second match against a very strong Missouri Valley squad but could not close out the win after jumping out to a 2-1 lead. After breaking a 1-1 tie, King squeezed out a 25-23 decision in the third game, bring them one game away from victory. However, the Vikings rebounded with two moving game wins by a combined 13 points to steal the match away, 3-2.

In set one, Friddle and Glenn both hit perfectly on a combined six attempts while Michael Koebel (Richmond, Va.) hit .600, going 3-of-5 with zero errors. Their hit percentage as a team took a decline in game two, combined with multiple service errors led to a 21-25 fall.

In the decisive fifth game King committed three attack errors and only three kills, all by Harper, and could not rally enough to defeat the Vikings, falling 8-15 and dropping the match.

Friddle again led the team in kills, ending their twilight match with 11 kills on 20 attempts (.400) though Glenn had the highest kill percentage converting 8-of-12 of his attempts. Harper finished the match with seven kills on 10 attempts and an error (.600) and had a team-best 3.0 blocks. Crane tallied all 37 assists for the Tornado.

"That was a very strong Missouri Valley team and we just did not have quite enough left in the tank," said Booher. "Overall, I am pleased with the way we played. We just need to learn how to close out those last games and win a tough one. It will come in time and with practice."

The Tornado are now 2-3 overall after completing day one of two at the Charlie Wrubezki Tournament. King will play another pair of matches on Sunday (Jan. 22) with host College of Mount St. Joseph (1-2) and finishing up with Penn State Behrend (0-2). They will begin at 11:00 a.m. with The Mount and finish their tournament stay with the Lions at 5:00 p.m.