BRISTOL, Tenn. – After opening its season with a loss to Conference Carolinas foe Limestone College, the King University men's volleyball team rebounded to take a 3-1 win over Coker College and begin the season with a 1-1 record at the 2014 King University Invitational.
The match against Coker was tight through the first two sets, with both teams taking 3-1 decisions to tie the match. But the Tornado dominated the final two sets, winning 25-15 and 25-16 to take the victory.
Coker (0-1) led 20-16 in the first set and appeared headed for the victory as the Tornado took a timeout. Eddie Moushikhian started the Tornado rally with a kill, then Matthew Lychock combined with Nick Serowski and Jeff Bosslet for momentum-shifting blocks on back-to-back plays to bring the Tornado within one and force a Cobra timeout. As play resumed, Lychock and Bosslet again combined for a block, and Serowski slammed a kill to give King a 21-20 lead.
Moments later, trailing 23-22, the Tornado front row would strike again. Kills by Mason Casner and Moushikhian brought the Tornado to a set point, then Casner and Kiel Bell combined for another block to win the set. In all, the Tornado totaled 14.0 blocks in the match, led by Lychock's nine total blocks that included a solo stuff, and finished the set on a 9-3 run.
After a hard-fought second set that saw the Tornado rally from a 14-7 deficit to a 16-16 tie before falling 25-23, King dominated the final two sets to earn its first win of the season. The Tornado hit .481 in the third set and .330 for the match, led by Serowski's 18 kills and .378 attack percentage. Casner hit .583 on 12 attempts, while Moushikhian hit .300 with 11 kills on 20 attempts. Jeff Bosslet added 39 assists, while Bell and Jeremy Funk each had eight digs. The Cobras were limited to a .054 hitting percentage and totaled just four team blocks.
In the day's earlier match, King fell 3-1 to Limestone (1-1, 1-0 Conference Carolinas) in the conference opener for both teams. The match was close throughout and included 24 ties and nine lead changes. In the opening set, King led 12-11 before Limestone embarked on a 5-0 run to take the lead. The Tornado four times closed the lead to a single point, but gave up three straight points to the Saints to drop the set. In the second, King jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led by as many as nine points before cruising to a 25-18 win to even the match. The Tornado hit .481 in the set, with 15 kills on 27 attempts, while limiting Limestone to just .129.
King led 20-19 in the third set before the Saints closed on a 6-2 run. Limestone again broke open a tight set in the fourth, turning a 12-all tie into a 16-12 advantage midway through the set to take control, and would not allow the Tornado to pull within three the rest of the match.
Moushikhian hit .565 for the match, complimenting Serowski's 18 kills with 15 of his own. Matthew DeLong had 42 assists, while six Tornado registered at least one block. For the season, the Tornado carry a hitting percentage of .297, paced by Moushikhian whose hitting percentage stands at .444. Serowski leads with 36 kills, and DeLong and Bosslet have registered 43 and 42 assists, respectively. As a team, the Tornado are averaging 2.81 blocks per set.
King's record now sits at 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in Conference Carolinas play. The Tornado will face Belmont Abbey in a clash of Conference Carolinas opponents at 12:00 p.m. in the Student Center before closing out play at the 2014 King University Invitational at 4:00 p.m. in Kline Hall against Quincy University.
Other King University Invitational matches on Saturday include Quincy vs. Limestone at 10:00 a.m. in the Student Center, Coker vs. Limestone at noon in Kline Hall, and Belmont Abbey vs. Coker at 2:00 p.m. in Kline Hall.