Seniors Shine in Conquest of Converse
Pittman, who was recognized for her 1,000-plus kill career at King, finished the night with 11 kills against the Valkyries. She continues to separate herself from her Conference Carolinas competitors by adding to her 2011 kill count. The Norris, Tenn. native eclipsed 400 in her last game against North Greenville and now sits with a league-leading 426 kills on the year.
Hamel, a native of Weaverville, N.C., added to a fantastic senior campaign by matching her teammate with 11 kills on Friday. As a top-10 blocker in the conference, she added two more block assists to her season totals of 53 assists and 64 total blocks. The senior went 11-for-26 to finish the night with a .346 hit percentage, her third game hitting .300 or better in her last five.
Five of Pittman's 11 kills came in the final set and at a crucial point when the Tornado found themselves down by two points toward the latter part of the set. King rallied to finish the fourth game on a 10-6 run and pulled out a two-point win.
Shannon Earwood (Carson City, Nev.) once again found herself all over the floor with 48 assists and eight digs from the back row. While playing in the front she tallied three block assists to lead King. Libero Payton Tipton (Cleveland, Tenn.) led the team with 16 digs and combined with junior Natalie Brown for 26 overall as the duo continued their individual defensive stands. The two came into the match tied in digs during conference play (270) and were fifth on the conference list. Combined, the duo has 738 digs with Tipton leading the way by a small margin with her 380 on the year.
King improves to 21-12 overall and 12-5 in Conference Carolinas play. With Friday night action around the league coming to a close, the Tornado's playoff fate has already been determined before their final regular season game. Belmont Abbey defeated Limestone in five sets, making it numerically impossible for the Saints to advance past King in the Western Division standings. Even with a win in their final game, King is locked into third place in the division based on a fourth-round tiebreaker setting up for a first-round road game at Mount Olive on Tuesday, Nov. 8. More details regarding game time and full tournament brackets will be released later in the weekend.
The Tornado will round out their regular season against the Erskine Flying Fleet on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10:00 a.m. from the Student Center Complex.