Mount Olive comes back to stun Tornado in five

Photo: Qyntia Parks-Lewis
Photo: Qyntia Parks-Lewis

BRISTOL, Tenn. – In the biggest match of the season thus far for the King University men's volleyball team, the Tornado came out playing well in the first two sets against the University of Mount Olive. However, the Trojan offense picked up in the third and fourth sets, forcing a fifth set. In the fifth set, Mount Olive came back late in the frame to take the set 15-13 an the match 3-2.

THE BASICS
FINAL SCORE: Mount Olive 3, King 2 (16-21, 21-25, 25-19, 25-13, 15-13)
LOCATION: Student Center Complex, Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 10-2, 5-1 Conference Carolinas; Mount Olive 8-4, 7-0 Conference Carolinas

HOW IT HAPPENED

  •  The Tornado couldn't have envisioned a better start, hitting .474 and registering seven service aces in the opening frame.
  • King used 4-0 run, started by a kill from Adrian Besson and block from Sean Luhmann and Besson. Eddie Moushikhian gave King a 6-3 lead with back-to-back service aces.
  • A Nick Drooker ace later gave King a 16-8 lead and forced a Mount Olive timeout.
  • The Tornado held their lead there, and took the set 25-16.
  • King was nearly as impressive in the second set, hitting .391 in what was a tighter frame.
  • Mount Olive held the advantage early, but Jeff Sprayberry started a 6-1 Tornado run with one of his four kills in the set.
  • Jon Wheaton registered a pair of kills on the run, including the final one, giving King a 15-11 lead.
  • Mount Olive came back to even the set at 17-17 following a 4-0 spurt, but King scored consecutive points, including a Drooker ace to regain the lead.
  • King extended their lead to 23-19 following a pair of Sprayberry kills and Wheaton block as the Tornado went on to take the set 25-21.
  • The Mount Olive offense got going in the third and fourth sets, hitting .474 and .429, respectively.
  • The Trojans turned a 9-6 deficit into a 14-9 lead with an 8-0 run to gain momentum.
  • King couldn't get their offense back on track in the set as Mount Olive got a side out every time the Tornado tried start a rally as the Trojans took the set 25-19.
  • Mount Olive scored the first six points of the fourth set, and didn't look back.
  • The Trojans capped the 25-13 victory by scoring six of the final eight points.
  • In the fifth set, Mount Olive took a 5-3 lead following a 3-0 run capped by an ace.
  • King had an answer, however, as Luhmann recorded a pair of kills to get the offense going. Sprayberry then recorded consecutive kills to give King a 7-6 lead and force a Trojan timeout.
  • The Tornado held an 11-8 advantage following a Drooker ace, but Mount Olive went on a run.
  • Mount Olive scored four straight points to take a 12-11 advantage.
  • The teams were again tied at 13 before Mount Olive got a kill, and then following a timeout an ace to take the set 15-13 and match 3-2.
  • Sprayberry led King with 19 kills and 10 digs for the double-double. He also hit .317 in the match.
  • Wheaton followed with 10 kills on 15 attempts to hit .600. He added three blocks, including one solo stuff.
  • Luhmann chipped in with nine kills and nine digs.
  • Drooker handed out 45 assists to go along with eight digs and four aces.

FOR THE FOES

  • Robert Pope led Mount Olive with 16 kills, six digs and six aces while Bret Rutledge followed with 15 kills.
  • Joel Roberts added 13 kills and nine digs, and Andrew Sydow chipped in with 10 kills.
  • Josh Donahue posted 24 digs and Jeff Yasalonis handed out 56 assists.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • The double-double for Sprayberry is his second of the season, with the other coming at Eastern Mennonite University on January 21.
  • Sprayberry now has eight double-doubles in his career.

UP NEXT

  • King hosts Barton College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Bulldogs come in with a Conference Carolinas record of 7-1 following a 3-0 win at Lees-McRae College on Friday night.
  • Mount Olive travels to Lees-McRae on Saturday afternoon.