BRISTOL, Tenn. – Prior to the Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball Championship semifinal matchups, the league held a banquet on Friday afternoon to announce their all-conference performers. Jeff Sprayberry and Nick Drooker earned first team accolades while Kiel Bell and Jon Wheaten were selected to the second team. Head Coach Ryan Booher also took home Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season.
Sprayberry garners first team all-conference accolades for the second straight year and is named all-conference for the third time in his career. He has recorded double figure kills in all but six matches in which he has played this season. The senior ranks third in the league with 3.62 kills per set, accounting for a team-high 293 kills this season. His season-high if 19 kills came at the University of Mount Olive in February. The Oak Forest, Ill., native was selected Conference Carolinas Player of the Week on April 2. Earlier in the season Sprayberry became the program leader in career kills, and is the only player in program history to have at least 1,000 career kills.
Drooker, a native of Richmond, Va., earns all-conference honors for the second straight season and first team recognition for the first time in his career. The 2015 Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year dished out 784 assists this season and accounted for 147 digs and 45 blocks. He ranks second the league with an average of 9.68 assists per set. Drooker also ranks seventh in the league with an average of 0.40 aces per set. The senior's high water mark for assists in a match came at Mount Olive in February when he handed 51 helpers. Drooker is the program leader in assists, digs, aces, matches played and sets played.
Bell earns all-conference honors for the first time in his career after registering averages of 3.09 kills and 2.45 digs per set this season. Both of those marks rank fifth in the league as Bell leads the Tornado with 196 digs. The Boca Raton, Fla., native also ranks sixth in Conference Carolinas with a .302 attack percentage. Bell leads the Tornado with five double-doubles on the season, including the final two matches of the regular season. The senior registered a career-high 19 kills in a win at Mount Olive in February. Bell was selected Conference Carolinas Player of the Week on January 8 and January 22.
Wheaton has played well in the middle for the Tornado, earning second team all-conference accolades for the second straight year. The junior from Lockport, Ill., leads Conference Carolinas for the third straight year in blocks with an average of 1.04 blocks per set. He ranks in the league's top 10 in block assists, solo blocks and total blocks. Offensively, his attack percentage of .348 ranks thirds in the league as he averages 1.68 kills per set. He posted a career-high 12 kills and hit .364 in a win at Mount Olive in February.
For the second straight year, Booher was been selected Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year after leading the Tornado to a share of their second straight Conference Carolinas regular season title. During the 2018 season, Booher's squad only dropped six sets in conference play, four coming to co-champion Barton College, as King finished the season with a conference mark of 15-1. King is 21-5 and has recorded two winning streaks of at least nine matches, including a 10-match streak entering the Conference Carolinas Championship semifinal matches. Earlier this season, the Tornado won a program record 26 straight sets. This marks the third time Booher has been selected Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year.
The top seeded Tornado take on fourth seed Belmont Abbey College in the Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball Championship semifinals Friday night at 5:00 p.m. in the Student Center Complex. The championship match will be played at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Student Center Complex.