Tornado sweep Lees-McRae, extend winning streak to 16

BANNER ELK, N.C. – The King University women's volleyball team continued to stay hot, even when they took to the road on Friday night. The Tornado traveled to Conference Carolinas rival Lees-McRae College and kept their perfect league record intact as King topped the Bobcats 3-0.

The Tornado (17-3, 8-0 CC) trailed most of the first set, and when the faced their largest deficit, 16-11, Kelsey Griffitts sparked the King offense with a kill. King went on a 10-2 run to gain a 21-18 lead. Summer Kremer registered two kills on the spurt while Grace Underwood and Maribeth Kern added one kill apiece. Following a Bobcat point, King scored the final four points of the set as Griffitts followed an Underwood ace with a kill to give King the 25-19 first set win.

King jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second set, but Lees-McRae (2-19, 0-8 CC) came right back to even the set, and the teams then traded points for the rest of the frame. The Bobcats had two chances at set point, but Griffitts registered a kill to stave off one set-point, and a Bobcat ball handling error evened the set at 24-24. Lees-McRae scored one point before Underwood hammered home back-to-back kills to give King the upper hand as the Tornado took the set 27-25.

Kern opened the third set with a kill, and the Tornado quickly opened up a 3-0 lead. The advantage swelled to 7-2 following another Kern kill before the Bobcats began to come back. Lees-McRae scored eight of the next 10 point to gain a slim 10-9 lead. However, the Tornado responded, and Jordan Baty gave the lead back to King with one of her four kills in the match. From that point on, the Tornado never relinquished the lead as they took the set 25-19 and the match 3-0.

With the win, King stayed undefeated in conference play and pushed their winning streak to 16 matches. Kern led the Tornado with 11 kills while Kremer and Griffitts chipped in with eight and six kills, respectively. Olivia Underwood posted 25 assists while Payton Tipton led King with 21 digs.

King will be in action again tomorrow when they take on Johnson C. Smith University at 10:00 a.m., and Morris College at 12:00 p.m.