Tornado come up short against #6 Ohio State in NCAA tournament

Photo Credit: Tristyn Lozano
Photo Credit: Tristyn Lozano

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The King University men's volleyball team traveled to #6 Ohio State University Thursday night for the first round of the NCAA men's volleyball tournament. The Tornado battled hard and hit well against the Buckeyes, but sixth-ranked Ohio State proved to be too much as they defeated King 3-0.

FINAL SCORE: Ohio State 3, King 0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-18)
LOCATION: St. John Arena; Columbus, Ohio
RECORDS: King 23-6; Ohio State 24-5


  • The Buckeyes came out firing as they jumped out to an early 8-0 lead on the Tornado. A kill by Jeff Sprayberry gave King their first point in the match and ended the Ohio State run.
  • Later in the set, a kill by Adrian Besson cut the Buckeye lead to ten points, 18-8.
  • However, Ohio State finished off the set 25-13 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Sprayberry led the Tornado in the set with three kills.
  • In the second set, a Kiel Bell kill gave the Tornado a one point advantage early on.
  • Following a Sean Luhmann service ace, King took a 14-12 lead over the Buckeyes.
  • Trailing 20-18 late in the set, King used a 4-0 run to take a 22-20 advantage over Ohio State. The run featured kills by Jon Wheaton, Sprayberry and Bell.
  • With King having the momentum, the Buckeyes took a timeout. Following the break, Ohio State used a 5-1 run of their own to take the second set 25-23. In the set Sprayberry recorded five kills and Bell posted four.
  • Sprayberry recorded a kill to cut the Tornado deficit to 6-5 early in the third set.
  • Wheaton and Luhmann posted back-to-back kills for the Tornado to tie the set up 11-11.
  • However, Ohio State responded with a 6-2 run to take a 17-13 lead over King.
  • A kill by Kiel Bell cut the Buckeye lead to 23-17 late in the set, but Ohio State proved to be too much as they finished off the set 25-18 and ultimately the match 3-0.
  • Sprayberry led the Tornado 13 kills while hitting .296 in the contest.
  • Bell posted nine kills and five digs while Nick Drooker dished out 26 assists for King.


  • Nicolas Szerszen led the way for the Buckeyes with 14 kills.
  • Jake Hanes posted 12 kills while teammate Blake Leeson recorded 11 kills for Ohio State.
  • Thomas Sanil dished out 39 assists and posted six digs.


  • Over the past two seasons combined, King has posted a 51-11 overall record.
  • Drooker ends his career as King's all-time leader in assists, service aces and digs. He finishes his career with 3,892 career assists, 179 career service aces and 747 career digs.
  • Sprayberry finishes his career as the all-time kill leader in King program history with 1,249 career kills.


  • The Tornado finish the 2018 season 23-6 overall including Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles as well as the programs first ever NCAA tournament appearance.