BELMONT, N.C. – Summer Kremer led the Lady Tornado with 10 kills in a losing effort against the Belmont Abbey Crusaders in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. The Crusaders defeated the Lady Tornado, 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23), ending King's season with a 16-16 overall record.
Belmont Abbey and King went neck and neck through the first 22 points of the first game. The Crusaders began their breakaway with the score tied at 11 when Hannah Schellenberg and Caitlin Hankins posted back-to-back kills to take a two-point lead. King did not allow the Abbey to separate any further until they hit the 20-point marker when Hannah and Lydia Schellenberg paired up to give Belmont Abbey a 23-18 lead. With a Lauren Willoughby attack error, Caitlin Hankins finished the game with her second kill of the set.
King fell behind by six heading into the latter half of the second set before King ran off a 5-1 run to bring them within two points, 18-16. The trio of Schellenberg sisters helped break away by scoring five of their final six points. Hannah Schellenberg notched three of those points via kill, including the final point that clinched a 25-22 set victory.
The Lady Tornado fell behind early but continued to keep within striking distance. Behind by five points, 18-13, King began to creep back to behind a kills from Lauren Willoughby and Mariah Herington. With kills from the two plus a ball handling error by Kay Schellenberg, King downsized the Belmont Abbey to three, 21-18. The Crusaders built their lead back to four points, 24-20, before King broke match point three times with kills by Kelsey Griffitts, Willoughby and Herington.
Belmont Abbey called a timeout to break the momentum being built before Kay and Hannah Schellenberg combined for the match-clinching kill and a 3-0 victory.
In the loss, sophomore Summer Kremer (Mills River, N.C.) led the team with 10 kills on 28 attacks (.179) and added six digs.
Lauren Willoughby (Cary, N.C.) led the team with 32 attempts and registered nine kills. Fellow freshman Olivia Underwood (Pearland, Texas) tallied 30 of King's 35 assists while sister Grace Underwood led the team with three block assists and a solo block. Kelsey Griffitts also put together two solo blocks.
King held the block advantage over Belmont Abbey with seven team blocks to the Crusaders' one.
Leading Belmont Abbey offensively was Hannah Schellenberg, who finished the night with 20 kills, 11 coming in the second set alone. She hit at a .769 clip, committing no errors on 26 attempts. She also had 12 digs for a double-double on the day.
The loss ends King's season after the team made a late push to advance to the Conference Carolinas Tournament as the No. 3 seed out of the West Division. The Lady Tornado finish the year 16-16 overall after a year in which they housed three All-Conference selections and the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, Payton Tipton.