King falls to Limestone in 5 to end season

Photo credit: Ashlyn Zook
Photo credit: Ashlyn Zook

GAFFNEY, S.C. – The King University men's volleyball team began their quest for the Conference Carolinas championship when they traveled to Limestone College to take on the Saints in a quarterfinal match. The Tornado jumped out to an early 2-1 lead but dropped the match in five sets to end their season.

Limestone (14-14) was quick to start, tallying the first two points before King (15-13) got on the board on a Stephen Brown kill assisted by Nick Drooker. The Tornado achieved their first lead at 6-5 off a Saints attack error. Nick Serowski posted a kill to give King a two point advantage at 8-6 before Limestone jumped out to a two point advantage at 10-8. Back-to-back Serowski service aces gave the Tornado a three point lead at 14-11 and lengthened their lead to four at 16-12 off a Limestone attack error. King continued to lead but a Limestone charge brought them within one at 21-20. The Tornado had a two point advantage before Limestone tied the set up at 24. The set was tied up again at 26-26 before an Adrian Besson kill and Serowski kill, gave the Tornado a set one win, 28-26.

Set two began with King getting on the board first off a Besson kill before Limestone tied the set up at one by way of kill. Serowski posted a kill to give the Tornado a two point lead at 8-6 before Limestone earned their first lead of the set at 10-9 off a King attack error. Limestone opened up their advantage to two at 13-11 but the Tornado raced back, tying the set up at 14. King fell down 20-17 but two points in a row capped off by an Eddie Moushikhian kill brought them within one. The Tornado eventually fell in set two, 25-21 and the match was evened at one.

Although the Tornado did not put a point on the scoreboard first, King raced out to an 8-3 lead capped off by a Serowski kill, forcing a Saints timeout. The Tornado opened up their advantage to six at 13-7 off a Brown kill but Limestone got back to within four after posting two straight. King's lead continued to grow and a Mason Casner kill gave the Tornado a 22-15 advantage. The final point of the set came off a Limestone error as King won set three 25-19. After three sets, King led the Saints 2-1 heading into set four.

Moving to set four, Limestone posted the first three points, two off blocks before King on the board off a Saints attack error. King tied the set up at seven but Limestone answered, opening their lead back up to three at 10-7. The Saints lead grew to four at 13-9 but a Besson kill silenced the Limestone run, bringing the score to 13-10. Limestone posted two more points to lengthen their lead to 15-10 forcing a Tornado timeout. Moushikhian delivered a kill to cut into the lead and a Brown service ace brought King to within two. A King attack error gave Limestone a 20-16 lead but Casner answered with a powerful kill to cut the lead to three. The Tornado trailed 23-18 and ended up dropping set four 25-21 as the match headed to a fifth and final set.

King added the first point of set five on a Serowski kill before Limestone evened the set up at one. The set was tied up at two before a Limestone kill gave them a one point advantage. The Tornado gained the lead at 4-3 off a Moushikhian kill but the Saints answered with a kill of their own tying the set up at four. Limestone registered two more points before Moushikhian recorded a kill as King trailed 6-5. The Saints grew their lead to three at 9-6 but a service error gave King a point. The Tornado fell down 12-8 forcing head coach Ryan Booher to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, King tallied two in a row but Limestone answered to take a 13-10 lead. Limestone went on two win set five 15-12 to take the match 3-2.

Leading the way for the Tornado was Moushikhian with 17 kills, while Brown registered 13. Chandler Wellmann posted 15 digs in the contest. Drooker posted 51 assists and 10 digs to post a double-double in the match. As a team, the Tornado posted an attack percentage of .265 while Limestone recorded a percentage of .236.

Playing in their final game for King was Brown and Casner. 

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