Lady Tornado Take Converse in Three
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Lady Tornado Volleyball improved to 14-13 (8-6 Conference Carolinas) after defeating Converse College in straight sets, 25-21, 25-12, 25-10. Summer Kremer and Lauren Willoughby led the Lady Tornado with nine kills each while the team displayed superb hitting percentages late in the contest.
Converse nearly stole the first set from the Lady Tornado, holding a lead until their comeback late in the frame. Down 17-13, King took a timeout that helped them regroup and begin chipping away at the Valkyrie lead. Kelsey Griffitts' kill that brought the Lady Tornado within three points prompted Converse to take a timeout ,where King began a 10-5 run to overtake the hosts.
Summer Kremer (Mills River, N.C.) threw down her second kill of the first set out of the timeout, prompting both teams to swap points to a 19-17 score in favor of Converse. Three consecutive errors by Converse gave King a 20-19 lead before a 5-1 run closed out the first set. Four errors by the Valkyries set the Lady Tornado up for game point, where freshman Heather Harvey (Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan South H.S.) served up an ace to finish Converse off, 25-21.
Behind strong and efficient hitting in the second and third sets, King rolled through the second and third sets. The Lady Tornado hit better than .500 in the second set as Summer Kremer went 5-for-10 with only one error (.400). Freshman Olivia Underwood (Pearland, Texas) went a perfect 3-for-3 on the attack while putting up eight assists in the second set. The Lady Tornado jumped out to a 16-6 lead and never looked back, winning the frame 25-12.
In the third, King converted 10-of-19 attack attempts for a .398 kill percentage en route to a 25-10 set win to take the match. Freshman Lauren Willoughby (Cary, N.C.) went 3-for-6 on the attack to help the team jump out to a 15-5 lead early. The Lady Tornado benefitted from eight Valkyrie errors to help in their match-clinching win.
Summer Kremer and Lauren Willoughby each finished the night with nine kills to lead the team. Willoughby hit at a .412 clip, converting on 9-of-17 attempts with two errors. Payton Tipton (Cleveland, Tenn.) registered 10 of the team's 43 digs to lead King while Olivia Underwood finished with 25 assists of the team's 27.
Kelsey Griffitts (Bristol, Va./John Battle H.S.) also hit well, tallying six kills on 10 attempts (.400). She and teammate Mariah Herington (Jonesborough, Tenn.) each had two blocks. Both of Herington's blocks were of the solo variety.
The win puts King (14-13, 8-6) up by one-half game on Lees-McRae (11-14, 7-6) in the Conference Carolinas West Division standings. The Lady Tornado has two conference games to play beginning with Erskine in their final road game of the season on Saturday, Oct. 27. First service is set for 2 p.m.
King will end their season with a four-match homestand beginning on Monday, Oct. 29 with a tri-match against Montevallo (Ala.) and Concord (W.Va.).