Tornado Fail to Finish Off Pfeiffer, Fall in Five

 

BRISTOL, Tenn. – King College had Pfeiffer University on the ropes, up 2-1 going into the fourth game with momentum on their side. After a line change by the Falcon coaching staff to start the fourth game, Pfeiffer came back to take the final two sets to deliver King their sixth loss in conference play.

Neither team led by more than two points at any time in the first set, leading to a 21-21 tie late into the set. Kills by David Frazee and an attack error by King gave Pfeiffer a two-point edge and rode that margin to the 25-point mark as kills by Frazee and Eric Edelman closed out the first set, 25-23.

King dominated the nets in the second set, registering 5.5 team blocks. Led by Matt Harper's two solo blocks and Eric Glenn's 2.5 total blocks, King held Pfeiffer to a .065 kill percentage in the 25-19 set win. Combined with 10 attack errors by the Falcons, James Friddle (Cartersville, Ga.) tallied four of his 18 total kills to help the Tornado tie the score at one set apiece.

King began to separate itself following a huge solo block on the right side of the net by Eric Glenn (Portsmouth, Va.), leading to a three-point run that left the hosts leading by three, 12-9. Pfeiffer tied it up at 14 before Jeremy Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) served King to another three-point run on the way to an 18-14 lead. Matthew Harper (Matoaca, Va.) put the ball in Funk's hands with a kill to break the tie followed by a service ace and two attack errors. King kept pushing with dominance at the net, completely taking the wind out of Pfeiffer's sails when Glenn, Ned Parker and Michael Koebel met David Specian with a big block on his attempt at the net. Three errors by the Falcons from the service line and on the attack helped King tie up the match at one, 25-19.

Set three began with Pfeiffer putting themselves behind by two points after a rotation error helped King to a 4-2 start. The Tornado again held the nets again with 4.0 total blocks while taking a 2-1 lead after a 25-22 set win. Pfeiffer made it interesting, overcoming a six-point deficit and coming within a point of King, 21-20, courtesy of four King errors to that point. King held strong capitalizing on a Konstantin Weise service error that ended the run before Caleb Brophy and Michael McLaughlin each committed attack errors. Matthew Harper and Jeremy Funk both got vertical to block McLaughlin's attack at the net and put King in position to win. Pfeiffer closed the gap to two points, but David Specian's final service sailed wide of the line and gave King a 25-22 set win and 2-1 advantage.

Pfeiffer switched their lineup allowing Micah Bortner, Lance Johnson and Quentin Moore to take the court. The switch proved effective as the trio combined for 11 kills and three block assists over the last two sets. Tied 17-17 late in the fourth set, the Falcons closed out on an 8-3 run behind a pair of Lance Johnson kills, leading to a 25-20 score to even the match up.

The Falcons took control of the fifth and final set early, jumping out to an 8-4 score by forcing King into three attack errors while spreading the ball around to different hitters but King did not go down without a fight. Down four points, 12-8, Michael Koebel (Richmond, Va.) took to the service line and via five Pfeiffer attack errors and a huge block in the middle by freshman Mason Casner (Culpepper, Va.), King tied the game at 12. Pfeiffer came out of a timeout and immediately regained momentum, scoring the final three points to end the Tornado run and the match, 15-12.

James Friddle led the Tornado with 18 kills posted a double-double with 12 digs. Brandon Rorer (Richmond, Va.) was all over the floor, totaling 13 digs on the night. Ned Parker (Richmond, Va.) put up 35 assists and shared the team lead with Matthew Harper in block assists (4). Harper totaled 5.0 blocks with three solo blocks to lead the team.

King (7-18, 1-6) will host a tri-match with Mount St. Joseph's and Mount Olive on Saturday, March 24, at the Student Center. The Lions and Trojans will start the action at 1:00 p.m. with King taking the floor for the first time at 3:00 p.m. against conference foe Mount Olive. The Tornado and Lions will close up shop with the final game of the tri-match, scheduled for 5:00 p.m.