MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The King Lady Tornado and Mount Olive College swapped game wins four times before the Trojans escaped their home floor with the match, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10. Summer Kremer lit up Kornegay Arena by leading both teams and setting a new career high in kills. The sophomore put down 27 in the loss, dropping King to 13-11 (7-4 Conference Carolinas).
For the third time this season, sophomore Summer Kremer set a new career high in kills by surpassing the 20-kill marker. She nearly exceeded 30 kills, falling just three short. In the meanwhile, the Mills River, N.C. native smashed 27 kills to lead both sides and establish a new career high in the category.
Mount Olive took the first set, 25-22, never allowing King a piece of the lead once the teams reached a 13-13 tie. The Trojans, supported by three King errors, went on a 6-1 run to break away from the Lady Tornado. Mount Olive nearly gave the lead away, allowing three errors of their own plus a Summer Kremer kill and Heather Harvey service ace to bring the Lady Tornado within one point, but went on a 4-1 run to close out the first game to take an early 1-0 lead.
Freshman Grace Underwood (Pearland, Texas) helped seal a second-set victory for King, 25-22, with two well-timed kills to help her team break away from the Trojans late in the second set. Tied 15-15, Maribeth Kern (Buchanan, Va.) put down a kill followed by a service ace by Payton Tipton (Cleveland, Tenn.) to sway to momentum to King's side, but a block by Nicole Powell and Carly White brought the Navy and Scarlett's lead back to just one point, 18-17. Two errors by Mount Olive set up Underwood's first of two consecutive kills that happened on both sides of a Trojan timeout, helping King to a 22-17 lead. Once again, Mount Olive made a late attempt to take the lead but were thwarted when Kremer put down her fifth kill of the set, setting up set point, which was clinched on an attack error by Mount Olive's Carly White.
Kremer continued to heat up, putting down six kills on the third set despite a 25-22 defeat. Kremer kept her team in the set, but Mariah Herington (Jonesborough, Tenn.) was the glimmer of hope that gave King a brief lead late in the set. Down by four points at one time, King came back and tied the match at points 18, 20, 21, and 22. Herington's third kill of the set gave King a 21-20 lead, but was quickly retaken by the Trojans .The final two points that clinched the set came on blocks by the duo of Dezirae Mackey and Nicole Karas.
The third set served as a block party as both teams combined for 8.0 team blocks on the efforts of a combined 14 block assists and one solo block. Mackey had four block assists alone in the third set, while five different King players chipped in on the defensive effort at the net.
As good as Kremer had been through three games, totaling 15 kills to that point, she turned it up one more time for seven more kills in the fifth set. King ran away with the set early, starting the game on a 7-3 run and never looking back. Mariah Herington and Kelsey Griffitts (Bristol, Va./John Battle H.S.) each put up four kills in a 25-18 decision, tying the match at two games apiece.
Kremer went 7-for-12 on the attack and committed only one error in the fourth set. That number serves as the most kills in a single set for her as a King Tornado. Heather Harvey (Kingsport, Tenn.) also dished out 18 assists in the frame, as well.
In the fifth set, Kremer came out of the gate with a pair of kills and errors, helping Mount Olive take an early 5-2 lead before King used its first timeout. The outside hitter came back and reasserted her dominance with two more kills out of the timeout and added a third shortly after. The Trojans began to break away with the score 7-5, powered by kills from Danielle Pante, Nicole Powell, and Dezirae Mackey leading to a 11-6 advantage and a King timeout.
King brought the score to within four points twice but did not get any closer as the Trojans rode out to a 15-10 set win, and the match.
Kremer led the team as its main source of offense, adding to her career list improvements with 61 attack attempts and 27 kills. She also had two block assists contributing to King's 7.0 team blocks.
Mariah Herington also finished the afternoon in double-digit kills, totaling 10 on 26 attempts (.308). She was one of four players to add a pair of block assists, joining Grace Underwood, Maribeth Kern, and Summer Kremer.
Kelsey Griffitts led all Lady Tornado at the net with four block assists and one solo block. The junior also chipped in seven kills on 16 attempts.
Payton Tipton and Maribeth Kern each had 10-plus digs, totaling 28 between the two of them.
Heather Harvey served as the floor general in Saturday's affair, totaling 55 assists and dishing out two service aces.
The Trojans had four players with 10 or more kills in the match, including Danielle Plante who led the team with 18 kills. Plante hit at a .444 clip, leading the way with 36 attempts and only two errors. Lauren Lee had a double-double, ending the night with 10 kills and 17 digs. Carly White had 12 kills and had a day at the net with three solo blocks and three block assists.
The Lady Tornado (13-11, 7-4) continue their roadtrip by playing North Greenville University on Tuesday, Oct. 16. First service is set for 7 p.m.