In Friday afternoon action, (RV) King went up 2-0 only to have to survive an epic comeback attempt by Mount Olive for a 3-2 win in Conference Carolinas. Meanwhile, St. Andrews picked up NCAA Division I/II wins numbers 2 and 3, respectively, in as many matches all-time as they knocked off host Queens and Alderson Broaddus in sweeps.
(RV) King def. Mt. Olive, 3-2 (25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 27-29, 16-14)
- King improves to 10-2, 7-0 Conference Carolinas; Mt. Olive falls to 8-5, 5-2 Conference Carolinas
- Mount Olive, North Carolina
- King recap/UMO recap
- Box score
Key Stats: It was King’s efficiency and Mt. Olive’s ill-timed unforced errors that decided this match. King outhit UMO .237-.190 while UMO produced 17 unforced hitting errors and 17 service errors to help King hold off a furious comeback by Mt. Olive.
Stat Leaders: King had four players in double-digit kills, led by Jeff Sprayberry with 19 and added 3 blocks. Kiel Bell also contributed 19 kills and 3 blocks. Jon Wheaton had 12 kills, hitting .364, with 4 blocks. Rounding out the double-digit kill onslaught was Adrian Besson with 11 kills, hitting a match-high .471, while adding a team-high 5 blocks. Setter Nick Drooker notched King’s lone double-double, dishing out match-highs of 51 assists and 22 digs. Drooker also had a team-high 2 aces. Libero Ryan DeLong 10 digs.
For UMO, this was their second straight match against a Conference Carolinas leader, with both turning into losses in five grueling sets. They were led offensively by Robert Poole, who had a ridiculous stat line of a match-high 24 kills, 10 digs, a block and a match-high 6 aces for a point total of 30.5. The only other player in double-digit kills was Brad Monaghan with 15, who added 8 digs and 5 blocks. Luke Visgitis finished with a match-high 6 blocks. Setter Jeff Yasalonis had a double-double of his own; he finished with 47 assists and a team-high 17 digs. Libero Josh Donahue finished with 15 digs.
It Was All Over When: At match point for UMO, 14-13, King called time-out. What followed was two Jeff Sprayberry kills and an unforced attack error from UMO sealed the deal, keeping King undefeated in Conference Carolinas, setting up a first-place showdown Saturday night at Barton.
St. Andrews def. Queens, 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-23)
- SAU improves to 6-4; Queens drops to 3-11
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- SAU recap/Queens recap
- Box score
Key Stats: The Knights pounded 35 kills in three sets and held Queens to hitting under .100 to get their second-ever win over an NCAA program in as many matches.
Stat Leaders: St. Andrews was led by Diego Hernandez, who finished with a match-high 12 kills on .429 hitting to go along with 8 digs and 2 aces. He was joined in double-digits by Robin Imar with 10 kills and match-highs of 11 digs and 3 aces. Setter Jackson Stark had 32 assists in running their efficient (.237) offense. Sean Hale finished with a match-high 5 blocks.
For Queens, their well-balanced offense did them no good, as no one player emerged as the go-to attacker. Two players finished with 5 kills; Cody Nix and Tristan Santoyo. Setters Hunter Gray and Jack Mitchner split time at the position, each registering 13 assists. Libero Conner Nagaki tied the team-high with 7 digs on the afternoon.
It Was All Over When: SAU started set 3 with 2 kills and a block, which kept the Knights ahead for the entirety of the third set. Queens did have their best offensive set of the afternoon, pounding 15 kills and hitting .258, but could never close the gap created by the opening run.
St. Andrews def. Alderson Broaddus, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-15)
Key Stats: SAU made quicker work of their second foe of the day, pounding ABU in a little over an hour. The Knights were far more efficient in their offense, hitting .375 to the Battlers’ .092. The Knights also outkilled ABU, 45-26.
Stat Leaders: The Knights’ two primary attackers, Robin Imar and Diego Hernandez, were far more effective in this match compared to their earlier match against Queens. Imar led all attackers with 19 kills on .571 hitting. He also added a team-high 8 digs and 2 blocks. Hernandez brought 16 kills on .414 hitting. Setter Jackson Stark dished out 36 assists while adding a match-high-tying 2 aces. Nate Blackwell had a match-high 3 blocks.
ABU continued their struggle offensively. Francisco Cabrera led the Battlers with 11 kills, hitting .308 in the process, but no other Battler had more than 5 kills. Setter Adreyune Husted finished with 24 assists. Libero Chase Doyle finished with a match-high 10 digs.
It Was All Over When: At 14-11 in set 3, SAU went on a 4-0 run, punctuated by two Imar kills and an ace. A second run of 5-0 later in the set all but ended ABU’s ability to extend the match. That run also featured two Imar kills and an ace.