King rallies past Bobcats in conference clash
BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The King University women's volleyball team rallied from an early deficit in each of the first two sets en route to a 3-0 victory over Lees-McRae College in Conference Carolinas play on Friday evening in Williams Gymnasium.
King (17-3, 8-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-19, 27-25, and 25-19, limiting Lees-McRae (2-19, 0-8 CC) to 28 kills in a defensive battle which featured nearly 200 combined attack attempts. The Bobcats would hold the Tornado to a .163 hitting percentage in the contest while posting 37 digs and seven service aces.
Avalon Liscio (Naples, Fla.) and Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) led the way for the Bobcats with nine and eight kills, respectively, as Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) nearly added a double-double with 23 assists and seven digs. Corhn, Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) and Candace Niemiec (Huntington Beach, Calif.) each posted a pair of service aces, while Niemiec chipped in a team-best 12 digs.
Maribeth Kern paced the Tornado with a match-high 11 kills, attacking at a .476 clip, while Payton Tipton added a contest-best 21 digs. Summer Kremer and Kelsey Griffitts posted eight and six kills, respectively, as Olivia Underwood chipped in a match-high 25 assists.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the first set before King answered with a 7-5 spurt, trimming the margin to 10-8 following an Underwood ace. Lees-McRae countered with a 6-3 run, pushing the advantage to 16-11 on an ace from Niemiec. The Tornado battled back with 10 of the next 12 points, claiming a 21-18 lead before taking the set with a smash by Griffitts.
King carried the momentum into the second set, tallying three of the frame's first four points before the Bobcats rallied with a 10-6 run, claiming an 11-9 advantage on a Beatty kill. After the Tornado took a 13-11 lead with four straight points, Lees-McRae countered with another 10-6 spurt to open a narrow 21-19 margin with a Liscio smash.
The Bobcats would push King to set point at 24-22 before the Tornado responded, scoring five of the next six points to claim the frame and a 2-0 lead in the match following a tandem block by Kremer and Mariah Herington.
King parlayed the run into a 7-2 spurt to open the third set, opening the five-point margin on a Kern kill. The Bobcats would answer once again with an 8-2 run, claiming a narrow 10-9 advantage following a smash from Haylee Leonard (Wallburg, N.C.).
The Tornado quickly countered with an 11-4 surge, retaking the lead at 20-14 on a Griffitts kill before the Bobcats closed the gap to 22-18 with a solo block by Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.). King answered with three of the next four points, quelling the rally and capping the match following a kill from Jordan Baty.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Bobcats host Erskine College to resume their conference slate at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -