BELMONT, N.C. – The Tornado and Crusader men's volleyball teams took to the court for the second time this season in a Conference Carolinas, mid-week match. Belmont Abbey College defeated King in three sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-23, on Tuesday night. Mathew Lychock led King with 12 kills and 3.5 total blocks. King is now 6-7 overall and 3-5 in league play.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and held at least a two-point advantage through the duration of the set. King was unable to rebound from the early deficit despite Stephen Brown's six kills. Belmont Abbey outhit King, .367 to .250 as a team while only committing three errors in their 25-22 set win.
King (6-7, 3-5 CC) battled with the Crusaders to a 14-14 tie before the hosts broke away with a 7-1 run to take a 21-15 lead ending three King attacks with blocks at the net and a pair of kills by Griffin O'Camb. Belmont Abbey slowly grew their point total and faced set-point at 24-19. The Tornado broke set point four times as specialist Justin Crane took to the line and brought King within a point of tying the set. With a service ace, attack error by BAC's Dustin Buell, and freshman Matthew Lychock continuing his successful day with a kill in the middle, King forced Belmont Abbey to take a timeout with a one-point lead, 24-23. Out of the timeout, Nolan Albrecht stopped King's four-point run with the set-clinching kill.
The third set mimicked the previous with both teams never separating itself from the other until the latter part of the game. Tied 20-20, King responded from a Crusader kill by capitalizing on a Belmont Abbey service error, followed by Adrian Lopez (Houston, Texas) putting down a kill to take a 22-21 lead. King took a timeout but lost that lead when BAC turned in two straight points to retake the lead, 23-22. Facing match point, Eddie Moushikhian was denied at the net by Antony Koyfman to finalize the win.
Lychock, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nev., led the Tornado with 12 kills on 19 attempts, good for a .579 hit percentage. While his success rate on the attack set a new career and season high, he was one kill short of matching his career-high kill count (13) that was previously set against the Crusaders in the Student Center Complex on Jan. 12. He also tallied two solo blocks and three block assists.
Ned Parker (Richmond, Va.) led the team with 13 digs while Ashton Hippensteil (Yucaipa, Calif.) added 29 assists.
King will return to the court on Wednesday, Feb. 13, when they host Limestone College at 6 p.m.