Lady Tornado Battle with Top Tier Armstrong Team, Fall in Three

Lady Tornado Battle with Top Tier Armstrong Team, Fall in Three
Freshman Lauren Willoughby helped King stay within reach of nationally-recognized Armstrong Atlantic with her team-leading nine kills.

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Against a team that ranks just outside of the top-25 AVCA Coaches' Poll, the King Lady Tornado held its own in a battle with Armstrong Atlantic State University. Lauren Willoughby led the team with nine kills in a three-set loss (25-19, 25-20, 25-16) to the Pirates at the Eagle Invitational, hosted by Carson-Newman College.

King and Armstrong played to a 10-10 before Christina Chow led the Pirates on an eight-point breakaway to create distance from the Lady Tornado. Lauren Willoughby (Cary, N.C.) ended the streak with her third kill of the set, but the Pirates continued their 11-3 run into the latter moments of the set. King brought it back to within four points, 23-19, behind a pair of attack errors by both Amanda Jones and Jessica Santaniello plus two kills from junior Mariah Herington (Jonesborough, Tenn.). Armstrong Atlantic pulled away with the final two points for a 25-19 first-set win.

Tied at 19 points each in the second set after King had two leads of three points or more, Armstrong cashed in on a three-point swing behind kills from Carina Marinho and Brittany Wolf to take a 23-19 lead in the second set. Sophomore Summer Kremer (Mills River, N.C.) posted her fourth kill of the game to bring King back within three, but a stop at the net by Marinho and Wolf ended the second, 25-20, in favor of the Pirates.

Willoughby posted four more kills in the third set, totaling a team-high nine for the night, but the effort was not enough to overcome the Pirate attack. The freshman hit at a .214 clip to lead the team and was one kill away from her first double-digit kill match of her career.

Summer Kremer finished the night with seven kills while Olivia Underwood (Pearland, Texas) led the team with 17 assists from the front line.

As a team, King equaled their opponent's block total, each registering two solo and six block assists in the match.

Armstrong Atlantic entered the weekend ranked just outside of the top-25 in the latest AVCA Coaches' Poll, receiving 30 total votes for the 29th position in NCAA Division II. With the win, they maintain their undefeated season, 5-0, heading into Saturday's action.

King (3-3) will continue at the Eagle Invitational with two contests on Saturday, Sept. 8. They will play Francis Marion at 2 p.m. and conclude with Lincoln Memorial at 6 p.m. from the Holt Fieldhouse in Jefferson City, Tenn.

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