Twin Tornado Sighting in Dominant Win
The Tornado (10-8) executed a game plan that consisted of dominant outside hitting by Van Goethem and Pittman plus solid defensive play. Pittman (Norris, Tenn.) set a new season-high in kills with 23 over the span of four matches and hit at a .500 clip. She accounted for 23 of the team's 70 points and committed only a pair of errors on 42 attacks.
Her counterpart Van Goethem (Aurora, Col.) also set a season high in kills (19) and was another of four players that hit at a .350 or better percentage. As if her incredible offensive influence was not enough, Van Goethem also contributed defensively, tallying 11 digs and recording her third double-double of the season. Her other double-doubles of the season came in her first two games of the season against Southwestern Oklahoma State and Fort Lewis, where she went 17-16 and 16-15 in kills and digs per game.
"It was unbelievable," said Head Coach Chris Toomey. "We usually try to distribute the ball around but what they we were doing was working and we weren't going to change it. They both had special nights."
"She [Van Goethem] is one of those players that is really skilled all the way around," said Toomey.
"Now that she is back fully from her injury it is really great to see her play her game pain-free and be doing so well in all phases of the game. Having her in there certainly makes a difference."
Van Goethem was one of three King players to register 10 or more digs. Freshman Payton Tipton (Cleveland, Tenn.) and junior Natalie Brown (Brentwood, Tenn.) each posted 12 digs in the contest and combined for three services aces.
Shannon Earwood collected 50 assists in the win. In addition, the Carson City, Nev. native also made eight digs and four kills.
"When your hitters are being efficient that makes her [Earwood] play look much better and gives her credit for the job she does night in and night out," said Toomey.
Mariah Herrington (Jonesborough, Tenn.) also hit above .400, adding eight kills on 17 attempts and led the team with four service aces.
As a team, the Tornado hit with a .381 attack percentage. King hit .400 or better in three of the night's four games, topping out at .424 in the third set. In the final game, King committed only two attack errors and in no match did they eclipse four.
Toomey said, "It was one of those matches where everyone came to play and we beat a good team tonight. Any time you can go on someone else's home court and get a win against a good team it serves as a solid win. Tomorrow we play another great team in Queens [College] so that will serve as another true test for the team."
King currently sits in fourth place overall in the conference standings with a 4-1 league mark, just percentage points off the pace for third behind Erskine College. The Tornado will play Queens University (10-4, 5-0), one of the remaining two unbeaten teams in Conference Carolinas. The Royals and Tornado will take to the hardwood at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1.