FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – The King University men's volleyball team was able to shake off a difficult day Friday, sweeping by Siena Heights University to go 1-2 in Emmanuel College Tournament play.
The Tornado rebounded from a Friday performance that included a combined .081 attack percentage in two matches, registering kills on one-third of their 87 opportunities against Siena Heights. Eddie Moushikhian had 18 terminations and just two errors on his 30 attempts, compiling a .533 hitting percentage. Nick Serowski also reached double figures in kills with 10 on the afternoon to go along with three solo blocks, accounting for half of King's total team blocks.
The first set was tight throughout, with neither team able to build a sizable advantage. Siena Heights scored on a kill from Gilius Blinstrubas to knot the score at 19, the 14th tie of the match. But the Tornado would go on to score the final six points of the set. Mason Casner began the run with one of his six kills in the match, then Chris Gerber, making his first start of the season, came up with a solo block to put the Tornado up by two points. An attack error made King's advantage 22-19 before three consecutive kills from Serowski gave King the 25-19 victory.
Gerber played well in his first significant action of the season, totaling three kills in three errorless attempts and coming up with a pair of solo blocks. Fellow freshman Chandler Wellmann also had his first start of the season and played well on the defensive end. Libero Jeremy Funk had 13 digs, while Pete Sowers came up with four. Primary setter Matthew DeLong had both of King's service aces.
The second set was played much like the first, with neither team able to gain separation. The set was knotted at 23 before Moushikhian gave the Tornado a set point with a kill. The Saints battled back and took a 25-24 lead, but another Moushikhian kill evened the score at 25. With the teams again locked in a tie at 26, Moushikhian again gave King a one-point lead on one of DeLong's 39 assists, and an attack error on the next point gave King a hard-fought 28-26 win. King used an early 6-0 run to gain a stranglehold on the third set, never allowing the Saints to pull within three points. The Tornado scored 12 of the final 17 points to close the match and take the team's fourth sweep of the season.
The Tornado will return to action on Wednesday night, traveling for a 7:00 p.m. match at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C. The match will begin a string of three road contests in conference play on consecutive nights for the Tornado, who will also face Limestone College and Erskine College on the road swing.