BRISTOL, Tenn. – In the King Lady Tornado's home opener against Milligan College, Summer Kremer and Mariah Herington combined for 25 kills in the team's 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23) win over the Buffaloes. King improves to 3-2 overall after their Tuesday night win over one of their former conference rivals.
Four of Herington's 10 kills in the match came in King's opening set win, 25-23. In that set, the Lady Tornado came back from a four-point deficit, 23-19, before the junior from Jonesborough, Tenn. began a six-point run to end the game. Herington's fourth and final kill of the set put the comeback in motion before freshman Heather Harvey (Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan South) continued the turnaround with a service ace followed by a trio of Milligan attack errors to give King an early one-game lead.
After Milligan tied it up at one game each, King overcame an early five-point setback with a 9-2 run to take a 14-10 lead. Freshman Lauren Willoughby (Cary, N.C.) went a perfect 5-for-5 on the attack in her first action of the game, including four digs in their third set victory.
King clinched the fourth set with yet another comeback after battling to a 20-20 tie late in the set. Milligan took a three-point edge, 23-20, threatening to tie the match once again but were held to that count after Willoughby put down her eighth kill of the night. Following a timeout by the Buffaloes, freshman Casey Williams (Bristol, Tenn.) led the Lady Tornado to victory with the help of Willoughby's final kill, an attack error by Milligan's Chelsea Spivey, and a drop by Grace Underwood (Pearland, Texas) for match point.
Though Willoughby helped turn the tide of the match in multiple occasions, her teammate Summer Kremer (Mills River, N.C.) served as the Lady Tornado's main source of offense. On 47 attempts, the sophomore tallied a team-high 15 kills against the Buffaloes. Mariah Herington concluded with 10 kills on 30 tries.
Lauren Willoughby had a career night with nine kills and one error on 16 attempts, good for a .500 hit percentage. She added 10 digs in just two sets played and was one of three King players to post double-digit dig totals.
Olivia Underwood (Pearland, Texas) had contributed in multiple areas from the front line, tallying 45 assists, eight kills, seven digs, and two block assists in the win.
King (3-2) will participate in the Eagle Invitational, hosted by Carson-Newman College, on Sept. 7-8 in their next action. They open their tournament experience against Armstrong Atlantic State University on Friday (Sept. 7) at 5 p.m. They conclude the tournament on Saturday (Sept. 8) against Francis Marion at 2 p.m. and Lincoln Memorial at 6 p.m. Their next home game will be at home versus Lees-McRae on Sept. 12 with a 7 p.m. first service.