Serowski's 18 kills lead Tornado to sweep of Belmont Abbey

Photo taken by Rachel Burrus

BELMONT, N.C. – The King University men's volleyball team came away with a sweep on the road in conference play on Saturday, notching a win over Belmont Abbey College to remain in a tie for fourth play in the Conference Carolinas standings.

Nick Serowski led the Tornado (6-4, 3-2 Conference Carolinas) to their second win in as many tries over the Crusaders this season with 18 kills and an ace. King defeated Belmont Abbey in a five-set thriller in Bristol on January 18. Eddie Moushikhian reached double figures with 11 kills and matched Serowski with one ace. Jeff Bosslet totaled 42 assists while Kiel Bell and Jeremy Funk each finished with 10 digs.

As has been the case all season, the Tornado continued their impressive play at the net. King totaled 10 blocks on the day, including eight solo stuffs. Mason Casner had five solo blocks and one assist to go with his five kills. Matthew Lychock had two blocks and one assist but was equally impressive on the offensive end, with seven kills and just one error on 13 attempts for a hitting percentage of .462.

The first set provided the tone for the entire match. The Tornado took a brief lead before the teams proceeded to trade points for much of the early going. Belmont Abbey (2-9, 1-6 Conference Carolinas) built their lead to a 13-8 advantage with four straight points and eventually climbed ahead to a 20-14 advantage. But King scored six straight points to tie the match at 20 that included kills by Bell and Moushikhian and an ace by Serowski.

The Crusaders then scored three straight points to take a 23-20 lead, but a Moushikhian kill sparked a rally that saw King fight through three set points to punctuate the 28-26 first-set victory on a termination by Serowski.

With Belmont Abbey deflated after the close loss, the Tornado were able to jump out to a quick 12-4 advantage early in the second set. But the Crusaders battled back, using a 12-7 run to pull within three points and eventually closed the gap to two late in the set. Three kills by Moushikhian and another set-ending kill by Serowski handed the Tornado the victory, however, and a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set was tight throughout, featuring 12 tied and four lead changes with neither team opening up more than a two-point advantage until the final moments. Trailing 19-18, the Tornado used two kills from Serowski, a block by Casner, and a Crusader attack error to score four straight points and open up a 22-19 lead before two Belmont Abbey points brought the score back to within a point.

A kill from Serowski stopped the rally. Bosslet, the team's setter, then had one of his three kills on the afternoon to force a Crusader timeout with Belmont Abbey trailing 24-22. Another Crusader attack error gave King a 25-21 win in the set and a sweep in the match.

Three Belmont Abbey players finished the match with negative attack percentages. King forced 23 errors in the match and held the Crusader attack to an attack percentage of just .058. The Crusaders were led by seven kills from Brennan Beyner and 13 digs from Johnny Gomez. Evan Young had a solid day at the net, finishing with just one kill but contributing with six blocks, three of them solo.

The Tornado return to action on Tuesday, February 18 in a match at Conference Carolinas rival Lees-McRae College. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.