FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – Taking a brief respite from conference play at the Emmanuel College Tournament over the weekend, the King University men's volleyball team was unable to come away with a win in their first day of tournament play, being swept by the tournament hosts before falling in four sets to Warner University in the nightcap.
Emmanuel (3-4) avenged a King sweep over the Lions on February 1 with a sweep of their own on Friday afternoon. Each of the first two sets were won by scores of 25-23. In the first set, King opened up a 16-8 lead after a Matthew Lychock and Jeff Bosslet block before the Lions mounted a comeback. A 11-3 surge, sparked by a kill and two solo blocks from Emmanuel's Alex Barbosa, made the score 19-17 in favor of the Tornado.
King scored three straight points on kills from Kiel Bell, Eddie Moushikhian, and Lychock to open up a 22-17 lead, but the Lions would score seven unanswered points, including two on service aces, to reach set point. The Tornado pulled within a point, but a Ryck Webb kill ended the first set and gave the win to Emmanuel.
The second set was much closer throughout, with neither team leading by more than four points. Down 24-20, King rattled off three consecutive points, including solo blocks by Bosslet and Nick Serowski, to pull within a point. With a Barbosa kill, however, Emmanuel stopped the rally and took the set. The Tornado held a 20-19 lead in the third set before a 5-0 Lions run that included two solo blocks from Webb and another from Barbosa ended the match.
The Lions were led by Webb, who had 16 kills and just three errors on 25 attempts for an attack percentage of .520. He also added three solo blocks and one block assist. Barbosa had four solo blocks as well. The Lions hit .279 as a team for the match and had 15 team blocks, holding King's attack percentage to just .071. Moushikhian's 13 kills on 24 attempts led the Tornado. Jeremy Funk and Serowski each had seven digs.
Against Warner (5-4), the Tornado again struggled on the attack, combining for an .088 hitting percentage. King led in the early going of the first set and held a slim 9-7 advantage before the Royals took control by scoring eight of the next nine points, including seven consecutive. King was only able to muster four points over the remainder of the set, falling 25-13. The teams traded points throughout much of the second set, and a Serowski kill gave King a 23-22 advantage. Three straight points gave the Royals the win.
It would be the Tornado that would climb from a large deficit in the third set, fighting back from a 22-17 Royals' advantage by scoring six of the next eight points, including four in a row after a Martin Krueger kill gave Warner match point. King again fell behind 25-24 after a service error, but fought back to take the lead and used two straight Royals' errors to earn a 28-26 win. The Royals gained control from the outset of the fourth and decisive set, coasting to a 25-15 victory.
Serowski's 12 kills led the Tornado in the Warner match, while Matthew DeLong had 28 assists. Funk led the team with 10 digs. Warner, which held King to just three kills in the first set and totaled 11 team blocks, hit .252 for the match behind 18 and 16 kills from Joshua Jordan and Christian Carter.
The losses drop King to 6-7 on the season. The Tornado will wrap up play at the tournament with a noon match against Siena Heights University on Saturday before Conference Carolinas road matches on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday against Pfeiffer, Limestone, and Erskine.