LEBANON, Ill. – The King University men's volleyball team fell to Quincy University and Lindenwood (Mo.) University by identical 3-1 scores on Saturday as the Tornado wrapped up play at the McKendree Crossover Classic, hosted by McKendree University.
In the match against Quincy (11-11), King hit .250 as a team and had three players reach double figures in kills. Nick Serowski led the Tornado with 15 kills, while Eddie Moushikhian and Mason Casner each had 10 terminations of their own. Casner also tied for the match lead with three blocks, leading a King front line that had 6.0 total team blocks for the match.
The Tornado were forced to take a timeout in the first set after a kill by Andrew Cavanaugh, who led the Hawks with 13 kills, gave Quincy a 24-21 lead. Kiel Bell started the King rally with a kill, then combined with Matthew Lychock on a block to pull the Tornado within a point. A service ace by Chandler Wellmann evened the set at 24, but Quincy reached its fourth set point on a Cavanaugh kill. Moushikhian responded with a kill for the seventh tie of the match, then an ace by Bell gave King the lead. A Quincy attack error then sealed the dramatic 27-25 win for the Tornado in the first frame.
King was unable to sustain its momentum from its first-set victory, however. The second set featured five ties and two lead changes, with neither team able to build an advantage of any size. Trailing 21-20, King gave up the final four points of the set and allowed the Hawks to tie the match. The third set was even tighter, with the team scores deadlocked 14 times and within two points until the end of the set. A Moushikhian tied the score at 16, but Quincy went on a 6-0 run to seize control and went on to win 25-19. King led by as many as five points in the fourth set, but Quincy again used a large run to put the set out of reach. A 9-2 stretch turned a 15-11 King lead into a 20-17 Hawks advantage, and Quincy went on to close out the set and take the match.
Against Lindenwood (17-6) in the final match of the day, the Tornado (8-14) were led by 12 kills from Moushikhian, who hit .333 on 24 attempts. Casner had a service ace and four blocks, while Matthew DeLong had 33 assists to go along with a block and three kills.
The Tornado trailed 2-0 after falling 29-27 to the Lions in the first set and 25-19 in the second. The first set had 10 ties and three lead changes. King led by as many as four points midway through the set, but the Lions were able to steadily climb back into contention and took a 25-24 lead after scoring three straight points to stave off the Tornado. The match was tied at 25, 26, and 27 points, but a Scott Siwicki kill and a King attack error gave the Lions the victory. King never led in the second set and saw the Lions pull away at the end after maintaining an advantage of at least three points through much of the frame.
King was able to force the match to a fourth set with a 26-24 win in the third. The Tornado trailed by four points on six different occasions, including seeing Lindenwood build a 24-20 advantage. But King scored the final six points of the set to stun the Lions, using an attack error, a Bell service ace, and a Moushikhian kill to pull within a point. Moushikhian then continued his run of excellence by notching a block and two terminations to give King the win. The Tornado were unable to sustain the momentum from the third-set victory, however, and succumbed to Lindenwood with a 25-15 loss in the fourth set.
The Tornado will return to action on Wednesday, March 19 with a conference match against Pfeiffer. It will mark King's first home match since a pair of sweeps over Marymount and Emmanuel on February 1. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.