BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University women's volleyball team opened their season at the first day of the King Invitational where they faced a pair of solid opponents, Tusculum College and the University of Montevallo. The Tornado dropped a close 3-0 decision to Tusculum early in the day before falling 3-2 in a thriller against Montevallo to conclude the first day.
FINAL SCORE: Tusculum 3, King 0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-15); Montevallo 3, King 2 (25-14, 21-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12)
LOCATION: Student Center Complex, Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 0-2, Tusculum 1-0, Montevallo 1-1
HOW IT HAPPENED – TUSCULUM
- The Tornado jumped ahead early, taking a 4-1 lead following kills from Remi Thele and Cathy Scaniffe.
- King held the upper hand the majority of the first set, holding a 14-12 lead before the Pioneers made a run.
- Tusculum scored six of the next eight points to take an 18-16 advantage.
- King came back to even the tally at 18-18 and 19-19 following kills from Scaniffe and Thele.
- However, Tusculum rolled off four straight points and ultimately took the set 25-22.
- Tusculum jumped ahead early in the second set and opened up a 15-9 lead before Tristyn Lozano got the Tornado back on the scoreboard.
- Scaniffe eventually evened the tally at 18-18 with a kill, but the Tornado couldn't take the lead as the Pioneers answered.
- Tusculum outscored King 7-4 down the stretch to take the set 25-22.
- The Pioneers grabbed the lead early in the third set and didn't look back, taking the frame 25-15 and the match 3-0.
- Scaniffe led the Tornado offense with 11 kills while Jenna Sturgeon followed with eight kills.
- Haley Roe handed out 31 assists and Amy Serowski posted a team-high 14 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED – MONTEVALLO
- The Falcons jumped ahead early, taking the first set 25-14 as they tried to set the tone for the match.
- Montevallo opened the second set on top as well, but the Tornado fought their way back, and Lozano gave King their first lead of the set at 14-13 with a kill. Thele followed with a kill, putting King ahead by two.
- From there, King held the advantage the rest of the set, closing the frame on a 4-0 run to break at 21-21 tie.
- Sturgeon and Becca Huddleston started the run with a block and Huddleston followed with a kill.
- Following a Roe ace, Thele and Sturgeon gave King the 25-21 victory with another block.
- The third set was just as tight with the Falcons holding the upper hand through the early going before King scored four straight points to take a 15-13 lead.
- Sturgeon and Lozano registered kills and Serowski served up an ace on the run.
- King later took a timeout when Montevallo took a 21-19 lead, and the Tornado scored back-to-back points out of the timeout to even the tally.
- Following a Falcon point, King scored three straight points to take a 24-22 lead.
- Montevallo staved off one set point, but Sturgeon came up with a block to give King the 25-23 victory.
- The fourth set was tight until the Falcons used a 4-0 run to turn a 10-9 deficit into a 13-10 lead.
- From there, Montevallo went on to take the set 25-19, forcing a fifth set.
- The momentum stayed on the side of the Falcons, jumping out to a 4-2 lead before the Tornado came back.
- Ashton Beckner registered a kill and Sturgeon another block to even the score at 5-5.
- However, the Falcons scored six of the next seven points to open up an 11-6 advantage.
- King tried to fight back and Beckner pulled the Tornado within 13-12 with a kill.
- Nevertheless, Montevallo scored the final two points, taking the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
- Huddleston led King with 14 kills while Beckner followed with 12 and Lozano add 10.
- Roe handed out 40 assists and Serowski posted a match-high 19 digs.
- Sydney Pigage added 10 digs for the Tornado and Sturgeon played stellar defense at the net, accounting for six total blocks, two solo.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Beckner matched a career-high with 12 kills, the last time she reached that plateau was in 2014.
- Roe also set a career-best with 40 assists against Montevallo.
- King will be in action again on Saturday when they take on Newberry College at 12:30 p.m. in Kline Hall. They wrap up the King Invitational at 5:30 in the Student Center Complex when they take on Lincoln Memorial University.