BRISTOL, Tenn. – King College Men's Volleyball split the day's action while hosting a tri-match with Mount Olive College and the College of Mount St. Joseph's on Saturday. The Tornado were turned away in three games by conference foe Mount Olive before taking care of the Lions in straight sets.
GAME ONE: Mount Olive 3, King 0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-13)
An early run in their opening set made the difference in King's opener against the Trojans of Mount Olive. After a kill by Jack Tutty tied the first set at four, Lukas Hoelzl led the Trojans to a four-point breakaway they maintained for the duration of the match. Hoelzl closed out the match with one of his five kills on the day, 25-20. Adam Miracle tallied eight kills in the open set and finished with 16.
Mount Olive continued to hit strong despite King challenging the Trojans at the net. The Tornado recorded 4.0 blocks in the second set alone and were paced by four kills by Eric Glenn (Portsmouth, Va.). The combined of Mason Casner and Ned Parker notched a pair of block assists on consecutive plays to help King to an early lead, 10-7. After Mount Olive returned with a 5-2 run to tie the game, they went on to go one a three-point run that made the difference in the game. Two errors and blocks from Alex Rivero and Tim Ebbecke led to King falling behind 21-18. The Trojans rode the lead to a 25-22 score to take a 2-0 lead.
Luke Hoelzl led Mount Olive to an 8-0 run, defining the pace of game three in a 25-13 decision, awarding the match the Trojans.
Senior James Friddle (Cartersville, Ga.) led the team with eight kills while fellow senior Eric Glenn tallied five block assists. Ned Parker had 23 assists. Four different Tornado players had three or more block assists in the game. Freshman Mason Casner received significant action, tallying four kills in the first set.
GAME TWO: Mount St. Joseph 0, King 3 (25-17, 25-11, 25-18)
King returned to the court looking to rebound from its previous loss to Trojans and responded to the three-set loss by flipping the script on the Lions of Mount St. Joseph. The Tornado had control of the entire match and defeated the Lions in three sets by seven or more points in each set while hitting .300 of better in each frame.
Friddle again led the team in kills, sporting 11 in the win, while hitting at a .444 clip. Freshman Matthew Harper (Matoaca, Va.) had seven attempts in the match and registered six kills to lead the team in kill percentage (.857). Fellow big man Mason Casner (Culpepper, Va.) worked the net with two solo blocks and a block assist.
Mount St. Joseph and King battled to a 10-10 tie in the first frame, but a pair of runs while Matthew Harper and Ned Parker were at the service line helped King breakaway from the Lions. Harper and Parker helped King take a 14-12 lead, but Harper's five-service run at the end of the game highlighted by solo blocks from Michael Koebel and Ned Parker iced the opening set, 25-17.
King jumped all over the Lions early in the second set, driving their way to a 15-6 score against through services from Harper and Parker. During the run, Michael Koebel had three kills to help create the space between the two teams. King kept the pressure on with blocks by Stephen Brown, Mason Casner, James Friddle, Jeremy Funk, and Harper down the stretch to guide the Tornado to the 14-point win to go up two games.
Of his 11 total kills, Friddle tallied six in the final set of the 3-0 victory over Mount St. Josephs. Justin Crane (Richmond, Va.) entered the game and had a solo block, a block assist, one kill and 12 assists in his time during the third set.
Of Brandon Rorer's 10 digs during the day, seven came against the Lions. He came into the match as the nation's leader in digs-per-set (2.72).
King has three matches remaining on the 2012 regular season schedule. They play their next two at home, beginning with their final non-conference game of the season versus Washington Adventist on Thursday, March 29. First service is set for 7:00 p.m. The Tornado will celebrate senior day on Saturday, March 31 against Barton College at 3:00 p.m. before finishing the season on the road at Lees-McRae (April 4).