Lady Tornado Go the Distance but Fall in Fifth Set

*Photo courtesy of Katie Bowles
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Trailing Limestone College by just a half game in the Conference Carolina standings in the Eastern Division, the Lady Tornado sought after a key win against the Saints to alter their place among league opponents. The Saints and Lady Tornado jostled back and forth through four sets and had a lead in the fifth, but Limestone ran away at the end delivering a 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20, 11-15) loss to King College.

King had an 8-7 lead deep into the decisive fifth frame but an 8-3 run at the end aided by four King errors led toward the 11-15 game result.

The duo of Ashley Pittman (Norris, Tenn.) and Sarah Van Goethem (Aurora, Colo.) combined for 35 kills on the night. Van Goethem led the team with 18 kills, hitting at a .212 attack percentage. Her total makes for the fourth straight 15-plus kill total and her sixth of the season.

Even as good as they [Pittman and Van Goethem] are playing I know they did not have their best match today," said Head Coach Chris Toomey. "They bearing a lot of the load right now so we need to get others more involved to take the pressure off them. Then they will be more effective as individuals and we will be better off as a team."

Three Limestone players hit double-digit kills with one more lingering on the outskirts of a 10-kill match.

Defensively, King featured four players with 10 or more digs with junior Natalie Brown (Brentwood, Tenn.) leading the way with 21. Shannon Earwood (Carson City, Nev.) added 13 digs to accompany 43 assists and a kill.

On the net King registered 15 blocks (3 solo), led by Kirsten Hamel (Weaverville, N.C.) and her two solo and three block assists.

"We are being shown that there is still improvement to be had," said Toomey. "It doesn't get any easier from here so we just need to keep pushing and striving to get better."

King (11-10, 5-3) will finish a six-game road trip with league leader and rival Lees-McRae on Tuesday, Oct. 11 in Banner Elk, North Carolina. King lost to the Bobcats earlier this year at home in three hard-fought sets.