BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University women's volleyball team stayed hot behind their offense on Wednesday night in the Student Center as Maribeth Kern led the Tornado to a 3-1 win over Limestone College. Kern turned in an all-around performance to post her sixth double-double of the season and lead King to their 15th consecutive victory.
The Tornado opened the night on fire as Kelsey Griffitts and Summer Kremer registered back-to-back kills to start the match. Olivia Underwood and Kremer tacked two more kills to give King (16-3, 7-0 CC) an early 4-0 lead. Later in the frame, Kern registered her fourth kill of the set to give the Tornado a commanding 18-12 lead. The sophomore later ended the 25-17 win for King with another kill. In the first set, Kern posted five kills and six digs.
The Tornado offense only heated up in the second set as the hit a blistering .441 in the 25-14 set win. The Saints (7-9, 5-2 CC) were within two at 12-10 before Kern ignited an 8-2 Tornado run with a kill. Underwood and Mariah Herington capped the spurt with consecutive kills as King held a 20-12 lead. After Grace Underwood gave King a side out at 23-14, she then registered back-to-back service aces to give King the 2-0 lead.
King jumped out to an early lead again in the fourth set, holding a 7-2 lead before the Saints started to come back. Limestone gradually worked their way back into the frame, and finally evened the set at 12 apiece. King tried to slow down the Saints' attack with timeout trailing 16-13, but Limestone extended the lead and took the set 25-19 to force a fourth set.
The King offense responded in the fourth set by posting a .450 attack percentage in the frame. Consecutive kills by Lauren Willoughby and Herington gave King a 7-3 lead, and Kern forced a Saint timeout at 10-4 with another kill. King then gained control of the set with a 7-0 run that was highlighted by a pair of Casey Williams aces and back-to-back kills by Kern, and King led 20-7. Payton Tipton eventually ended the match with an ace as King took the final set 25-10 to move to 7-0 in Conference Carolinas play.
Kern led the Tornado with the double-double, posting 17 kills against just five errors on 38 attempts for an attack percentage of .316. She also racked up 15 kills on the defensive end. Olivia Underwood dished out 49 assists while Tipton anchored the defense with 18 digs. Brooke Calhoun also reached double figures with 10 digs in the victory. Grace Underwood and Griffitts both had solid nights offensively as neither middle hitter made an attack error all night. Underwood posted eight kills on 10 attempts while Griffitts accounted for seven kills on 17 attempts.
King will be in action again when they travel to Lees-McRae for a Conference Carolinas tilt. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., in Banner Elk, N.C.