September 7, 2011

King Powers Through Winston Salem State in Straight Sets

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. – King College women's volleyball got back to their winning ways with a three-set victory in their match with the Winston Salem State Rams on Wednesday night. The Tornado blew through the Rams by scores of 25-20, 25-15 and 25-15 in the second win of the season.

Four King players had hit percentages of .400 or higher in the win. Led by Sarah Van Goethem (Aurora, Colo.), the Tornado had a team attack percentage of .342 and limited their attack errors to 12 in the match. Van Goethem had eight kills on the night, only bested by teammate Kirsten Hamel (Weaverville, N.C.) who had nine. Hamel also led the team with a .643 attack percentage on 14 attempts.

"We distributed the success pretty well and had a lot of players involved tonight," said Head Coach Chris Toomey. "It's encouraging to see everybody contributing and playing an active role."

Freshman Jordan Baty (Wilmington, N.C.) and junior Shannon Earwood (Carson City, Nev.) also had attack percentages of .400 or better. Baty finished with seven kills and a .429 attack success mark. Earwood also added 19 assists in her two matches played.

Defensively, another freshman stood out among the pack as libero Payton Tipton (Cleveland, Tenn.) had a team-high 15 digs and a pair of service aces.

"It was a good opportunity to get everybody some playing time," said Toomey. "With it still being early in the season, we want to get everybody a lot of touches so as the season moves on, everybody is comfortable on the court."

The Tornado put together 13 service aces on the night compared to the Rams' six, a dramatic increase over their previous four games. In their first four games of the season, the Tornado combined for 13 service aces and committed 42 service errors. Four of the team's service aces came from Van Goethem alone.

 "Tonight was about being efficient and recognizing when you can take a swing for a point or when you need to take a little bit off and be smart about your shot," said Toomey of the win. "That is something we have been working on, to identify the opportunities and when to adjust for a better shot."

King will gear up for its second tournament of the young 2011 season when the team travels to Greenville, Tenn. for the Tusculum College Tournament. There, the Tornado will have a second four games in two days stretch while playing regional opponents Tusculum (Sept. 9, 1 p.m.), Francis Marion (Sept. 9, 5 p.m.), Montevallo (Sept. 10, 3 p.m.) and Lenior-Rhyne (Sept. 10, 7 p.m.).