BRISTOL, Tenn. – King battled through the middle sets of their match against rival Lees-McRae, but the Bobcats took the match in four games, 3-1 (18-25, 22-25, 25-23, 23-25), on Thursday night. Jeremy Funk led the Tornado with eight kills as the Tornado fell to 6-9 (1-3) on the season.
Lees-McRae controlled the first set after they jumped out to an 8-3 lead early and held as much as an eight-point lead in the latter part of the set in a 25-18 win. King battled back from seven points down in the second set, tying the game at 20-20 before Lees-McRae called a timeout to break the run. A trio of errors on the Tornado helped LMC break away before John Lucas tallied one of his team-leading 15 kills to take the second set, 25-22.
In the third set, King again battled back when down by three points, 12-15. Three consecutive attack errors from the Bobcats and a kill by Michael Koebel (Richmond, Va.) helped King take the lead back as both teams battled back and forth toward a 23-23 score. Eric Glenn (Portsmouth, Va.) came out of a timeout by King with a demonstrative kill to take a 24-23 lead before Lucas committed an error, giving King the set point.
Neither team built more than a two-point lead throughout the fourth and final set. Adrian Kibsey (Winnipeg, Manitoba) helped bring King within a point of the Bobcats, 22-23, on his seventh kill of the night before an error on LMC tied it up. The game ended with back-to-back errors by the Tornado, leading to the Bobcats pulling away with the 25-23 set and match win.
Funk, a native of Lancaster, Pa., led the Tornado with eight kills and added a solo block. Michael Koebel and Adrian Kibsey both tallied seven kills. Kibsey and Ned Parker led the squad with 10 digs, while Parker also registered a team high 28 assists.
King (6-9, 1-3) will take to the road to play the Limestone Saints in conference play, Feb. 25, leading into the Lindenwood Tournament (St. Charles, Mo.) to open the month of March.