Tornado Turn Down Barton in Three

* photos courtesy of Jennifer Friddle (FriddlePhotography.com)
 

WILSON, N.C. – Stephen Brown led the Tornado men's volleyball team with nine kills while middleback Eric Glenn followed up with eight, but it was a total team effort that earned King College their sixth win of the season against Barton College in a straight-set victory, Saturday night.

After overcoming a five-point deficit early in the contest, King (6-8, 1-2) battled back to tie the game at 11 points apiece. Barton went on a 7-2 run to take a 19-17 advantage, capped off by a kill from Alx Draughan. That kill resulted in Matthew Harper exiting the game after being hit by the ball. Justin Crane (Richmond, Va.) entered the game to give the Tornado a spark and went on an 8-3 run to close out the game. Behind Crane's defensive effort and an emotional spark, King willed themselves to a 25-23 come-from-behind first-set win. Michael Koebel (Richmond, Va.) finished the set with three kills during the game-changing run.

From there the tone was set for the duration of the match. King broke away by seven points in the second set behind Eric Glenn's four kills on five attempts plus one service ace. Barton committed a match-high eight attack errors in the middle frame to help King to a 25-16 set win.

Stephen Brown (Lawrenceville, Ga.) tallied five of his team-high nine kills in the final set to help his team to a 25-21 victory, sealing the match win. King held on to a two-point lead before Barton tied the game at 12-12 and the Tornado began its final breakaway. King went on an 8-1 run that was generated by three different Tornado players tallying kills or service aces, plus three Barton errors. Brown had two kills in the final four King points. Harper returned to form, putting down the final point for his team with a kill for a 25-21 set win.

In addition to Brown's nine kills, he added four digs on the defensive side. Ned Parker (Richmond, Va.) led the team in the category with 11, through Richmond, Va. native Brandon Rorer tallied seven digs, as well. Parker led the team with 24 assists and added a block assist. At the net, Glenn tallied one solo block and one block assist.

"We played much better as a team today [Saturday] than we had in the previous week," said Head Coach Ryan Booher. "Justin Crane gave us a great spark and from there, the whole team just fed into it. Everyone contributed to the win tonight and now we are excited to bring that energy to the Student Center for our first home match against a big-time opponent [Lees-McRae]."

King, now 1-2 in Conference Carolinas, will continue league play and play their first home match this Thursday, Feb. 23 against rival Lees-McRae (5-5, 2-1). First service against the Bobcats is set for 7:00 p.m. from the Student Center. King Men's Volleyball will host "Beach Night", where spring-time attire will be the attire of choice to help encourage spring to arrive sooner! The first 75 fans dressed in a King t-shirt and beach shorts will receive a free King mini-volleyball, courtesy of the team.