MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Playing their third match on a four-day road trip, the King University women's volleyball team had to come back to defeat Mount Olive College. The Tornado dropped the first set 26-24, but rebounded to take the final three 25-18, 25-13, 25-13 for the win.
The Tornado (22-4, 11-1 CC) got off to slow start as the Trojans jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead that forced King head coach Chris Toomey to call for timeout. King gradually worked their way back into the set, and Summer Kremer started a 4-0 run that pulled King within 15-14 with a kill. The Tornado used a 4-1 run late in the set to pull within 21-20 before the teams traded points. Olivia Underwood evened the score at 23 with a kill, and Kelsey Griffitts did the same at 24. However, the Trojans (10-13, 7-6 CC) scored the final two points to take the set 26-24.
Trailing 8-7 in the second set, Maribeth Kern started a 5-1 Tornado run with a kill before she capped the spurt with another kill and a service ace. The score was tied a 14 when King started to gain separation as Kremer ignited a quick 4-0 run with a kill. A 5-0 run, started by Griffitts followed to give King a 24-17 lead as the Tornado took the set 25-18.
In the third set, the King offense came alive as they hit .367 in the frame. The Tornado used a 4-0 run early in the frame to grab a lead they never relinquished. Grace Underwood started the spurt with a kill before her sister Olivia served up an ace. Grace and Mariah Herington capped the run with back-to-back kills. Later in the set, King used 4-0 and 5-0 runs to gain a commanding 23-12 lead. After a Trojan point, the Tornado took the final two points to take the set 25-13.
The Tornado started quick again in the fourth set as Grace Underwood served consecutive aces to give King a 10-5 lead. Later in the set, Kremer sparked a 5-0 run with a kill that was followed by a Payton Tipton ace. Kremer registered another kill, and Grace Underwood ended the run with another kill, giving the Tornado a 20-9 advantage. The Trojans staved off a pair of set points before Grace Underwood ended the 25-13 final set victory with her 14th kill of the match.
Grace Underwood led a Tornado offense that hit .330 in the match with 14 kills on 16 attempts. She didn't make an attack error in the match for an .875 attack percentage. Kremer followed with 12 kills while Olivia Underwood chipped in with seven kills and an attack percentage of .727. She also dished out 39 assists and registered 10 digs for the double-double, only two kills away from a triple-double. Tipton also registered a team-high 10 digs and four service aces.
King returns home on Tuesday to face Erskine College. First serve from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.