Tornado top Bobcats, extend win streak to 14

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University women's volleyball team opened their match with Conference Carolinas rival Lees-McRae College on a mission as they looked to stay undefeated in league play. The Tornado opened the match with a 25-16 victory, but dropped the second set 25-19. King the rebounded to take the final two sets 25-12 and 25-19 for the 3-1 victory.

Maribeth Kern registered back-to-back kills at the start of the match, and Summer Kremer gave King a 7-2 advantage with her first of 15 kills in the match. The Tornado (15-3, 6-0 CC) held an 8-4 lead when the Bobcats (1-17, 0-6 CC) started to comeback. Lees-McRae evened the set at 9-9 with a service ace, and Angela Morse followed with a kill to give Lees-McRae the lead. Trailing 14-12, Kelsey Griffitts ignited the Tornado offense with one of her four kills in the set. King rolled off nine straight points, capped by a Kremer kill to take a commanding 21-14 lead. King went on to take the set 25-16 behind a .435 attack percentage in the frame.

Lees-McRae came right back with a counter punch in the second set, however. The Tornado quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead following a Payton Tipton service ace, forcing a Bobcat timeout. The Bobcats then started their comeback, and finally evened the score at 12-12. In all, the Bobcats used a 13-2 run to gain the lead, and eventually take the set 25-19.

In the third set, King started fast again as Griffitts gave the Tornado an early 7-2 lead with a kill. The Tornado then used a 10-3 run to stretch their lead to 20-9. Kremer registered all three of her kills in the set on the run while Kern added two kills. After another Tipton ace gave the Tornado a chance a set point, Kern ended the 25-12 set win with her fourth kill of the frame.

The fourth set may have been the tightest set of the night as both teams traded points early in the frame. The score was tied at 17 before King began to pull away. Olivia Underwood and Kremer registered back-to-back kills that forced a Bobcat timeout. Another Kremer kill and a Kern ace followed to force another Lees-McRae timeout as King held a 21-17 advantage. Griffitts capped the 5-0 spurt with a kill on the other side of the break, and Kremer put King up 23-18 with another kill. Tipton served up another ace to give King a chance at match point, and Grace Underwood ended the 25-19 fourth set win with her third kill of the match.

Kremer posted a team-high 15 kills while Griffitts was the only other Tornado to reach double figures with 10 kills. Griffitts continued to hit at a high clip as she only made two errors on 17 attempts for an attack percentage of .471. Olivia Underwood dished out a team-high 36 assists while Tipton posted 12 digs. Kern also reached double figures with 10 digs to go along with nine kills.

King will be in action again on Wednesday when they host Limestone College at the Student Center Complex. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.