Lady Tornado Dominate, Down Rams in Three
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Lady Tornado Volleyball improved to 15-15 overall with a three-set win (score) over the Winston-Salem State University Rams, Thursday night. Summer Kremer led the team with 12 kills while Jessica Hammond chipped in with six service aces in the nonconference match. The Lady Tornado now prepare for their regular season finale with a playoff berth on the line, as well as Senior Day, on Friday against the Limestone Saints.
King took control and ran away with the first two sets, setting the tone for the entire match.
Up 6-5 in the first, Maribeth Kern (Buchanan, Va.) got the ball back in her team's hands with her first kill of the night, leading to a 7-1 run with Olivia Underwood (Pearland, Texas) guiding King at the service line. After jumping out to a 16-8 lead, Jessica Hammond (Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan South H.S.) notched two of her six service aces on the night during the team's second run of the set, a 9-0 run that lead the Lady Tornado to a 25-8 game victory. Lauren Willoughby set King up for match point with four consecutive kills, totaling five in the opening frame to lead the team.
Heather Harvey (Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan South H.S.) and Jessica Hammond together helped break a 3-3 tie in the second set, helping King score 16 of the next 18 points. In that time, Summer Kremer (Mills River, N.C.) tallied four kills while junior Kelsey Griffitts (Bristol, Va./John Battle H.S.) made a pair of block assists and kills during the rally. Winston-Salem scored the next five points to come within 10, but behind four Ram errors King rode out to a 25-14 victory and went up two games to one. Kremer went 5-for-8 on the attack with only one error in the second set.
Winston-Salem hung with King until Brooke Calhoun (Jonesborough, Tenn.) went to the service line and served up seven straight points. Both teams battled to a 20-15 score before errors struck again for the Rams. De Ann Smith tossed a serve into the net, followed by an attack error by Avoni Seymour to put King up eight. Lauren Willoughby smacked her final kill of the night followed by Hammond's sixth ace, setting up match point. Rams hitter Olivia Owens sent an attack long of the back line to give King a 25-16 win and the match, 3-0.
Summer Kremer led the team with 12 kills on 20 attempts, good for a .400 hit percentage. She now has 26 matches finishing with double-digit kill counts and totals 421 on the year. The sophomore also had two of the team's nine service aces on the day.
Senior Jessica Hammond led the team with six service aces on the night to accompany five digs.
Other notable performance include freshman Lauren Willoughby who finished with eight kills on 17 attempts and only two errors (.353). Olivia Underwood and Heather Harvey both finished with 10 or more assists, tallying 13 and 14, respectively. Brooke Calhoun led the team with 12 digs as one of three players to take the libero position in the match.
King (15-15, 8-7 Conference Carolinas) has one match remaining on its regular season schedule to be played on Friday, Nov. 2. The match, a Conference Carolinas match against Limestone College, has major implications on the Lady Tornado's postseason hopes. With a win over the Saints, King will advance to the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Volleyball Tournament. The top four teams in each division advance to the postseason tournament.
King currently rests in third place in the West Division and is one-half game behind Lees-McRae (8-6) for second place. The Bobcats have two conference contests left on their schedule, as does fourth place North Greenville. North Greenville (7-7) and Lees-McRae play one another on Nov. 2. NGU will then host Limestone on Nov. 3 while Lees-McRae goes to Queens (11-2, East) on Nov. 6.
Friday's match between King and Limestone will also serve as senior day where the Lady Tornado will honor lone senior Jessica Hammond prior to the start of the match. First service is set for 6 p.m. with Senior Day programming beginning at approximately 5:45 p.m.