Women's Volleyball


Tornado drop final two matches of Pioneer Classic

Photo Credit: Rachel Burrus
Photo Credit: Rachel Burrus

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – The King University women's volleyball team had a short turnaround before taking on the second day of the Pioneer classic, facing Lander University at 11:00 a.m. The Tornado grabbed the first set, but dropped the next three, as the Bearcats took the match 3-1. King then took the first two sets from Lincoln Memorial on Saturday afternoon, but the Railsplitters came back to take the match 3-2.

It looked as though some of the momentum King gained on Friday night carried over to the first set against Lander as the Tornado took the tight opening set 25-20. The teams exchanged the lead seven times in the set, with four ties before Sarah Collins gave King the lead for good with a kill to give King a 12-11 advantage. Summer Kremer extended King's lead to 16-12 with one of her eight kills in the set. The Bearcats (7-0) came back to get within two on five occasions, the last at 22-20 before Olivia Underwood, Grace Underwood and Jordan Baty registered three straight kills to give King the set.

Lander rebounded in the second, quickly opening up a 10-4 lead on the Tornado. Trailing 15-10, the Tornado used a 6-2 run that was culminated with kills from Baty and Lauren Willoughby to cut the deficit to just 17-16. King got within 20-19 following another kill from Collins, but Lander answered with three straight points en route to the 25-21 victory.

The Tornado trailed 4-1 in the third set, but used a 7-0 run to take an 8-4 lead and force a Bearcat timeout. Grace Underwood and Kremer registered two kills apiece on the spurt. However, Lander answered with a 7-1 run to regain the lead at 11-9. The Bearcats extended their lead to four points at 16-12 before the teams traded points the rest of the set until Lander won the frame 25-20.

In the fourth set, Lander quickly opened up a 10-2 lead. The Tornado couldn't slow down the Bearcat offense the rest of the way as Lander took the final set 25-12 and the match 3-1.

Kremer led the offense with another double-double, accounting for 20 kills and 20 digs. Willoughby and Grace Underwood chipped in with eight kills apiece while Payton Tipton led the defense with 24 digs. Casey Williams also reached the 20 dig plateau registering a career-high 20 digs, and Brooke Calhoun accounted for 13 digs. Olivia Underwood posted another double-double, dishing out 49 assist to go along with 15 digs.

In the nightcap, the Tornado took the first two sets from Lincoln Memorial by the identical scores of 25-23. The Railsplitters had a 10-8 advantage in the first set before Willoughby started a 6-0 Tornado spurt with one of her five kills in the match. Kremer and Olivia Underwood followed with kills, and Willoughby served up an ace before Collins forced a Lincoln Memorial timeout with a kill that put King up 14-10. The Tornado advantage grew to 20-14 when Grace Underwood prompted a Lincoln Memorial timeout with of her 10 kills in the match. The Railsplitters than began to come back, cutting their deficit to 24-23 before a ball handling error gave King the set.

In the second set, Ashton Beckner gave King a 9-8 advantage with a kill. The Tornado would not relinquish the lead rest of the way, extending their advantage to 19-13 following another Willoughby termination. However, the Railsplitters made another run to get back into the frame. Lincoln Memorial again cut their deficit to 24-23, but Collins ended the set with her second kill of the frame to put King up 2-0.

Lincoln Memorial began to take control of the third set when they went on a 5-1 run to take a 20-16 lead. The Railsplitters held a 23-20 lead before the Tornado run, Kremer registered back-to-back kills to even the set at 23. She added another to even the set at 24 before the Railsplitters scored the final two points to take the set 26-24 and extend the match.

The Tornado held an early 7-5 lead in the fourth set following a Beckner kill, but the Railsplitters answered with three straight points to take the lead. The score was again even at nine all before Lincoln Memorial gained separation with a 5-0 run. From that point on, the Railsplitters cruised to the 25-16 victory to send the match to a fifth set.

That momentum carried over to the decisive set as Lincoln Memorial scored the first three points. They stretched the lead to 7-1 before consecutive kills by Kremer, and one by Grace Underwood forced a Railsplitter timeout. However, the Tornado never got closer than three points the rest of the way as Lincoln Memorial took the comeback victory 15-9 and 3-1.

Olivia Underwood and Kremer both posted their second double-doubles of the day. Olivia Underwood posted 53 assists to go along with 15 digs while Kremer accounted for 24 kills and 13 digs. Tipton led the defense with 16 digs while Williams and Calhoun tallied 13 digs apiece.

King will be in action again on Tuesday in their first home match of the season when the host defending Conference Carolinas champion Belmont Abbey College. First serve from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.