Bobcats End Tornado Streak in Saturday Loss

BRISTOL, Tenn. – A six-match winning streak came to end when the Lees-McRae Bobcats defeated the King College Tornado at the Student Center Complex. The Tornado women's volleyball team fell in straight sets (18-25, 17-25, 20-25) to the preseason favorite Bobcats, Saturday afternoon.

Ashley Pittman (Norris, Tenn.) led the Tornado with 11 kills through three matches but the play of junior Sarah Van Goethem was most noticeable in the loss. In her first full game after returning from injury, the Aurora, Colo. native hit with precision and power, picking up seven kills on 20 attempts.

King battled in a back-and-forth first set with Lees-McRae until the Bobcats went on a six-point run when both teams were tied at 15-15. After that separation, the Bobcats ran away with the set behind LMU hitter Megan Epperson's six kills in the opening frame.

In both the second and third sets, King fell behind early and rallied to challenge the Green and White. Four of Van Goethem's seven kills came in the final set while Kelsey Griffitts (Bristol, Va.) also chipped in with three kills in the final frame.

Despite the loss, the Tornado displayed good net play behind the efforts of Griffitts, Kirsten Hamel (Weaverville, N.C.) and Ashley Pittman. Griffitts and Hamel each had three block assists and Pittman recorded two solo blocks.

Pittman's 11 kills marked the 11th time this season the senior tallied ten or more kills in a match and the fourth straight match she has reached the milestone.

King begins a six-game road trip beginning on Sept. 27 when the team travels to Converse to play the Valkyries at 7:00 p.m. All six games will be against Conference Carolinas opponents. The Tornado will next play at home on Oct. 14 when they invite the Coker College Cobras to the Student Center Complex.