BELMONT, N.C. – In a rematch of last season's Conference Carolinas Tournament final, and this year's league opener, the King University women's volleyball team traveled to the Wheeler Center to take on Belmont Abbey College. Just as they did last month in the Student Center, the Crusader jumped on the Tornado early, but this time they didn't look back, taking the sweep, 25-16, 26-24, 25-16.
Belmont Abbey (6-12, 5-4 CC) scored the first six points of the match to put King on their heels and force an early Tornado timeout. King (10-8, 4-3 CC) tried to make a run, but couldn't get any closer than seven points, following back-to-back Summer Kremer kills that made the score 21-14 as the Crusaders took the frame 25-16.
King looked to turn the tide in the second set as Grace Underwood, Jordan Baty and Lauren Willoughby registered consecutive kills to give King an early 5-2 lead, but the Crusaders came back. Belmont Abbey used a 3-0 run to take a 15-14 lead before Baty got the Tornado back on the board and the teams began to trade points. As Belmont Abbey gained a 20-17 lead, King head coach Morris Cephas used a well-placed timeout to regroup the Tornado. Out of the break, Kremer sparked a rally with kill, and capped the 4-0 spurt that put King ahead 21-20 with another termination. However, Belmont Abbey countered with a timeout and 3-0 run of their own to regain the lead, and the Crusaders led 24-22 before back-to-back Tornado points evened the frame. Nevertheless, the Crusaders scored the final two points to take the set 26-24 and commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The teams traded points early in the first set as the frame was even at 4-4 before Belmont Abbey went on a 7-0 run to gain a commanding 11-4 advantage. Willoughby finally ended the Crusader spurt with one of her nine kills in the match. Olivia Underwood and Kremer registered kills to pull the Tornado within three at 11-8 and 12-9, but the Crusaders quickly extended their lead as they cruised to the 25-16 third set win to take the match.
Kremer led the Tornado with her ninth double-double of the year, going for team-highs 14 kills and 11 digs. Willoughby followed with nine kills and Baty chipped in with four kills. Olivia Underwood dished out 29 assists to go along with seven digs, as Payton Tipton added seven digs of her own.
King will be in action again on Saturday when they take on Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina. Pfeiffer will provide both live video and live stats. Both links are on KingTornado.com.