- King def. Mount Olive 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 15-19)
- King moves to 25-2 (14-1 Conference Carolinas); Mount Olive falls to 15-8 (13-3 Conference Carolinas)
- Kornegay Arena, Mount Olive, North Carolina
- Attendance: 391
- Box Score
In a major separation game in the Conference Carolinas, King University beat Mount Olive in a 3-2 thriller over Mount Olive. The win leaves King, the best turnaround story in the country, alone in 1st place in the conference and moves Mount Olive down to 3rd.
King will have another huge matchup on Saturday when they play the conference’s #2 team Barton on the road. King already has one win against Barton this season.
Jeff Sprayberry led King with 27 kills (6 errors, 48 attacks, .438 hitting), while Sean Luhmann added 14.
None of the 5 sets were really dominated by either side. With the exception of the 2nd, where a 6-point run put King into an early lead that they wouldn’t give back, there weren’t any big scoring streaks either.
Mount Olive wwas led by Robert Poole, who had 20 kills (.325 hitting). Bret Rutledge had 12 for Mount Union, which included points in key moments, like the final point of the opening set.
Courtesy King Athletics:
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Nearing the end of the season, the King University men’s volleyball team had a chance to avenge their lone Conference Carolinas loss this season, and inch closer to their first Conference Carolinas championship when they traveled to the University of Mount Olive on Friday night. The Tornado fell behind, and trailed 2-1 in the match before winning the final two sets, taking the match 3-2 and extending their winning streak to 15 matches.
FINAL SCORE: King 3, Mount Olive 2 (22-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 15-9)
LOCATION: Kornegay Arena; Mount Olive, N.C.
RECORDS: King 25-2, 14-1 Conference Carolinas; Mount Olive 15-8, 13-3 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
Mount Olive held the advantage for nearly the entire first set, leading by as many as five at 14-9 following an 8-2 run.
The Tornado came back to get within one numerous times down the stretch, but couldn’t pull even as the Trojans took the set 25-22.
King used a 5-0 run in the second set to turn a deficit into a 10-6 advantage. Jeff Sprayberry posted three kills and a solo block on the spurt.
A block from Adrian Besson and Nick Drooker stretched the Tornado advantage to 24-18 with a block before Besson gave King the 25-19 victory with his eighth kill of the match.
Mount Olive held the advantage throughout the third set and held off a late King rally to take the frame 25-22 and 2-1 lead in the match.
King used a 5-0 run in the early going of the fourth set to take a 6-4 lead, capped by an ace from Eddie Moushikhian.
Trailing 13-11, the Tornado scored three straight points, to gain the lead.
Following a Trojan point, King gained a little separation with a 3-0, taking an 18-15 lead.
The Tornado held the lead there, and took the set 25-23 on Jon Wheaton’s fifth kill of the match.
The King offense didn’t slow down at the beginning of the fifth set, scoring the first three points. Moushikhian and Besson came up with a block and Sprayberry added a kill on the burst.
The lead grew to 6-1 following a Besson solo stuff and the Tornado led 8-3 when the teams changed sides.
King didn’t let up as Sprayberry gave the Tornado a chance at match point with a kill, and a Trojan miscue gave King the 15-9 win and the 3-2 victory.
Sprayberry led King with 27 kills and hit .438 and added eight digs in the match.
Sean Luhmann followed with 14 kills, hitting .360.
Moushikhian followed with 12 kills and eight digs while Besson was the final Tornado in double figures with 10 kills. Besson added five block assists and the one solo block.
Drooker handed out 59 assists to go along with nine digs and four block assists.
Jimmy Nuckolls led the defense with 13 digs.
FOR THE FOES
Robert Polle posted 20 kills and seven digs to lead Mount Olive.
Bret Rutledge and Alex Palmatier added 12 kills apiece and Brad Monaghan chipped in with 10 kills.
Jeff Yasaolins handed out 54 assists and Josh Donahue accounted for 19 digs.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
King hit .345 in the match, their fourth highest total of the season, and their best in a five set match in 2017.
Drooker’s 59 assists ranks second in school history. Earlier this season he handed 64 assists in a win over Eastern Mennonite University.
Sprayberry matched his season-high of 27 kills and came within two of his career-high of 29 kills.
King travels to take on Barton College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Tornado lead the league with a record of 14-1 while Barton is in second at 14-2.
Mount Olive hosts Lees-McRae College on Saturday afternoon.
Courtesy Mount Olive Athletics:
Mount Olive, N.C. — The University of Mount Olive men’s volleyball team dropped a hard-fought battle to King University, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 9-15, on Friday night in Mount Olive, N.C.
Score: King 3, Mount Olive 2 (25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 9-15)
Records: Mount Olive (15-8, 13-3 CC) King (25-2, 14-1 CC)
Location: Kornegay Arena, Mount Olive, N.C.
How It Happened
After the Trojans earned a narrow 5-3 advantage, King responded with a 3-0 run to take its first lead at 6-5.
UMO used an 8-2 run to push the Trojans back ahead at 13-8.
Down the stretch, the Trojans saw their lead dwindle to just one at 20-19 as the Tornado roared back.
Leading 23-22, UMO closed out the set with kills by senior Alex Palmatier and junior Brett Rutledge to give the Trojans the 25-22 opening set win.
The Trojans hit .415 to King’s .308 in the first frame.
UMO opened the set with a 6-4 lead, but King responded quickly with a 6-0 run to give the Tornado a 10-6 advantage.
After taking the early lead, King never looked back as the Tornado earned the 25-19 second set win.
UMO hit just .152 in the second set while King continued its hot hitting with a .367 hitting percentage.
With the set tied at four early on, a service ace by Rutledge capped off a 3-0 run for the Trojans that gave UMO a 7-4 lead.
The Tornado pushed back to tie the set on two occasions at 11 and 12, but King could never get in front as the Trojans held on late for the 25-22 set victory.
King asserted itself early with a 5-0 run that gave the Tornado a 6-4 lead.
The Trojans rebounded with a 5-1 spurt that gave UMO back the lead at 13-11.
After the lead bounced back-and-forth, King grabbed the lead for good at 16-15 in route to the Tornado’s 25-23 set win.
King took control early as the Tornado stormed out to an 8-3 lead.
The Trojans battled back within four at 10-6, but UMO could draw no closer as King captured the 15-9 set win and the 3-2 match victory.
Junior Robert Poole led UMO with 20 kills in the loss.
Three other Trojans finished with double-digit kills as Rutledge and Palmatier each tallied 12 kills and sophomore Brad Monaghan recorded 10 kills.
Junior Jeff Yasalonis led the way for the Trojans with 54 assists while junior Josh Donahue added a team-best 19 digs.
The Trojans were outhit in the match by King, .345 to .297.
The Trojans return to action on Saturday when UMO takes on Lees-McRae College at 2 p.m. for senior day in Kornegay Arena.
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