September 17, 2011

Pittman Leads Tornado to Five Set Victory Over NGU

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Behind an 18-kill performance by senior hitter Ashley Pittman, the Lady Tornado volleyball team defeated North Greenville in five set, on Saturday. The win improves their overall record to 5-7 and is the program's first Conference Carolinas victory.

Pittman, a native of Norris, Tenn., had an attack percentage of .517, contributing to an overall team hit percentage of .571 in the match. On 29 attempts, the senior had only three errors and added five digs and a block.

King College (5-7, 1-0) took the first two games from North Greenville, 25-15 and 25-18, but the Crusaders evened up the match, winning the following two sets (21-25, 22-25). In a race to 15 points in a decisive fifth set, the Lady Tornado jumped ahead and never looked back. In an errorless final frame, King earned the victory with a 15-8 decision.

"I was very pleased with how our ladies started the match," said Head Coach Chris Toomey. "We grabbed a 2-0 lead and were playing well. Unfortunately, we lost focus and had poor ball control in sets 3 and 4."

Toomey continued, "I was proud of the way our team responded in the fifth set. Ashley Pittman did what an experienced senior should do. She stepped up and made plays for our team."

Kelsey Griffitts (Bristol, Va.) and freshman Jordan Baty (Wilmington, N.C.) combined for 20 kills and only two errors. Each had hitting percentages over .750 and Griffitts finished with .800 in the match.

Shannon Earwood (Carson City, Nev.) nearly hit the 50 assist mark, finishing with 48 against the Crusaders. The junior also had  team-high three service aces and eight digs.

Natalie Brown (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Payton Tipton (Cleveland, Tenn.) each finished with double-digit dig numbers. Tipton registered 14 digs and Brown ended the match with 19.

The Lady Tornado earned their first Conference Carolinas victory in their conference debut. They will continue to play on the road on Tuesday with a doubleheader match at Concord University. King will play the Mountain Lions (1-5) at 2:00 p.m. and return to play Bluefield State(0-3) for the second time this season, both matches at the Carter Center (Athens, W.V.)