HONOLULU, Hawai'i – The King University men's volleyball team opened their season thousands of miles away from in Hawai'i where they faced the seventh-ranked University of Hawai'i in the first match of the Outrigger Resorts Invitational. The Tornado put up a fight, but in the end the seventh-ranked Rainbow Warriors prevailed with the 3-0 victory.
FINAL SCORE: Hawai'i 3, King 0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-14)
LOCATION: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, Hawai'i
RECORDS: King 0-1, #7 Hawai'i 1-0
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King scored back-to-back points, the second on a kill from Jon Wheaton to take a 2-1 lead early in the first set, and the Tornado held the upper hand and held a 6-4 advantage before the Rainbow Warrior offense got going.
- Hawai'i scored consecutive points to take an 8-7 lead, and then went on an 8-0 to take a commanding 16-8 lead as they went on to take the first set 25-14.
- In the second set, Hawai'i gradually pulled away, opening up a 16-9 lead following a 5-2 run before Jeff Sprayberry ended a streak of three straight Hawai'i points with a kill.
- However, the Tornado couldn't get any closer as the Rainbow Warriors took the set 25-14.
- The Rainbow Warriors jumped out to a 6-1 lead early in the third set before Sprayberry ended a 5-0 run with another kill.
- King stayed within striking distance, but couldn't get a run together as Hawai'i closed the set on a 10-4 run, taking the set 25-14 and the match 3-0.
- Sprayberry led King with eight kills while Adrian Besson followed with five.
- Matthew Lychock and Wheaton chipped in with four and three kills, respectively. Lychock also added four blocks for the Tornado.
- Nick Drooker led King with 20 assists and four digs.
- King held the advantage over Hawai'i at the net, registering 7.5 blocks to the Rainbow Warriors' 7.0 stuffs.
FOR THE FOES
- Stijn van Tilburg registered a match-high 14 kills on 15 attempts with no errors to lead Hawai'i.
- Sinisa Zarkovic followed with 13 kills for the Rainbow Warriors.
- Jennings Franciskovic dished out 34 assists and Kolby Kanetake registered 18 digs.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The match against the seventh-ranked Rainbow Warriors marks King's first match against a team ranked in the top 10 in program history and their first against a ranked team since March 8, 2014 when they faced #13 Ball State University.
- Wheaton registered three kills in his first collegiate match for the Tornado.
- The road doesn't get any easier for the Tornado as they turnaround to face eighth-ranking and 2015 national runner-up Lewis University on Friday night. First serve from the Outrigger Resorts Invitational in Honolulu is slated for 9:00 p.m. (ET).
- The Rainbow Warriors take on Harvard University on Friday night following the King-Lewis match.