MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The King University men's volleyball team traveled to the University of Mount Olive for a Conference Carolinas matchup Friday afternoon. Despite leading 2-0 in the contest, the Tornado held off a Mount Olive comeback to take a thrilling fifth set 16-14 and maintain an undefeated record in conference play.
FINAL SCORE: King 3, Mount Olive 2 (25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 29-27, 16-14)
LOCATION: Kornegay Arena; Mount Olive, N.C.
RECORDS: King 10-2, 7-0 Conference Carolinas; Mount Olive 8-5, 5-2 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Tornado jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead in first set following an Adrian Besson service ace.
- Mount Olive fought back however, and the teams traded points for much of the set as neither could gain a solid lead on the other.
- A Jeff Sprayberry kill gave the Tornado a 23-20 lead. The Trojans took the next point, but a Kiel Bell kill on the next play bumped the King lead back to three.
- A Mount Olive attack error gave King a 25-21 first set victory.
- In the second set, King trailed 6-8 early, but used a 4-0 run to take a 10-8 lead over Mount Olive.
- A Bell kill broke a 15-15 tie midway through the set to give King a one point lead.
- The Tornado used a 3-0 spirt to take a 19-16 lead. The run was capped off with another Bell kill.
- The teams traded points the rest of the way until a Sprayberry kill and a Mount Olive attacking error broke the streak and gave the Tornado a 25-21 second set victory.
- King struggled in the third set as they trailed 5-0 early. This was an omen of things to come in the set as they eventually trailed 18-9 later in the set.
- A 6-1 run late in the set cut King's deficit to 22-19. The run was capped off with a Sprayberry kill from Nick Drooker.
- However, the Trojans capped off the set with a 3-0 run of their own to take the third set 25-19 over the Tornado snapped King's 26 consecutive sets won streak.
- In the fourth set, the Tornado trailed 8-9, but proceeded to use a 5-0 run that was capped off with a Bell kill to take a 13-9 lead over the Trojans.
- Not to be outdone, Mount Olive followed King's run with a 5-1 run of their own to tie up the set 14-14.
- The Tornado used a 4-1 run to take a 20-17 lead over the Trojans, however, Mount Olive countered with a 4-1 run of their own to tie the set 21-21.
- A kill by Jon Wheaton gave the Tornado a 25-24 lead. As the teams battled back-and-forth, a Besson kill tied the set 27-27.
- Unfortunately for the Tornado, Mount Olive would record the next two points and take the fourth set 29-27.
- In the fifth set, King gained a 6-4 advantage early, but the Trojans went on a 4-0 run to take an 8-6 lead over the Tornado.
- However, King used a 4-1 run of their own to take a 10-9 lead in the set. Not to be outdone, Mount Olive used a 3-0 run and regained the lead 12-10 over King.
- The Tornado finished the game strong though, and used a 6-2 run to defeat the Trojans 16-14 in the final set and ultimately the match 3-2. Sprayberry recorded three kills during the games final run.
- Sprayberry and Bell led the Tornado offense with 19 kills apiece. Sprayberry chipped in nine digs while Bell added eight digs while hitting .262 on the day.
- Drooker recorded 51 assists and 22 digs for the Tornado.
- Wheaton posted 12 kills while hitting .364 and added four blocks.
- Besson recorded 11 kills for King and five blocks. He hit .471 on the day for the Tornado.
FOR THE FOES
- Robert Poole led the way for the Trojans with 24 kills, 10 digs, and six service aces.
- Brad Monaghan added 15 kills, eight digs, and five blocks for Mount Olive.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- King's consecutive sets won streak ends at 26 games following a third set loss in today's match. The mark stands as a program record.
- With the win, the Tornado are maintain their undefeated record in conference play this season.
- King travels to take on Barton College in a Conference Carolinas matchup Saturday at 2:00 pm. Both teams come into the game with undefeated conference records.
- Mount Olive hosts Lees-McRae College Saturday.