Mount Olive Briefs
Mount Olive 3, Barton 1
Nicole Karas served two aces during a set-ending 5-0 run that saved three set points and prevented Mount Olive from a two-set deficit as the Trojans rallied to defeat Barton 19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-16 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. The win was Mount Olive's third in its last four matches and moved the Trojans into a fourth place tie in the conference standings, only one game out of third place.
Mount Olive (9-12 overall, 6-5 Conference Carolinas) dropped the opening set and trailed 24-21 in the second set. A Barton attack error saved one set point and Karas served an ace to save a second set point.
After a Barton timeout, another attack error tied the set 24-24. Karas followed with another ace to give Mount Olive its first set point. A block by Sarah Watkins and Carly White landed on the Barton right sideline to even the match at a set apiece.
Mount Olive appeared to be in control in the third set as back-to-back aces by Jordan Barnes gave the Trojans a 22-18 lead. But Barton (11-9, 7-4) scored the next five points to take the lead. Amanda Grandy served an ace and Kaitlyn Micol had two kills during the Bulldogs' scoring run.
White tied the set with a kill and once again combined with Watkins on a block to put Mount Olive back on top. On set point, White drew the defense to the middle, but Karas set the ball to the left side to Danielle Plante, who tipped the ball into an open spot to give the Trojans the third set.
Lauren Lee sparked Mount Olive in the fourth set, recording kills on three consecutive points to put the Trojans ahead to stay 9-7. The margin was still two points when kills by Plante, White and Watkins highlighted a 6-0 run to extend Mount Olive's lead to 18-10. The margin reached double figures at 22-12 and Lee recorded kills on the Trojans' final two points to seal the win.
In the first set, Mount Olive rallied from an early four-point deficit as Charnel Austin's ace and Karas' second ball kill tied the set 10-10. Barton broke the tie and took the lead for good after back-to-back aces by Corinna Morton highlighted a three-point Bulldog run. Barton won five of the final six points to take a one-set lead.
Lee recorded six of her 12 kills in the fourth set and shared team-high honors with White, who had five kills in the fourth set. The two combined for a .563 hitting percentage in the final set with 11 kills and only two errors in 16 attempts. White also had five blocks in the match, while Watkins added 10 kills and six blocks.
Karas finished with four aces to go with 45 assists, seven digs and three kills with no errors. Austin, who had two aces, led all players with 18 digs. Barnes, Lee and Nicole Sparks added nine digs apiece.
Melissa Cochran led all players with 16 kills for Barton. She had only three errors in 35 attempts for a .371 hitting percentage. Grandy and Morton finished with three aces apiece, while Brittany Edwards had a match-high seven blocks. Amber Kelly recorded 30 assists.
Mount Olive continues its five-match Conference Carolinas homestand with a pair of matches this weekend at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans play host to Lees-McRae Friday at 7 p.m., then entertain conference leader King Saturday at 2 p.m. for Senior Day. Trojan seniors Charnel Austin, Lauren Lee, Nicole Powell, Nicole Sparks and Carly White will be recognized prior to Saturday's contest.
Three Mount Olive men's runners and two women's runners received academic recognition as five Trojans were named to the 2013 Conference Carolinas Men's and Women's Cross Country All-Academic Teams. Michael Cherry, Sebastian Diebel and Jordan Willett earned Men's Cross Country All-Academic honors, while Megan Bucek and Christina Jordan earned Women's Cross Country All-Academic honors.
Michael Cherry and Christina Jordan are now two-time All-Academic selections. Conference Carolinas All-Academic Teams recognizes juniors and seniors with at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.
Cherry is a senior from Sanford, N.C., and is majoring in business administration. He earned Conference Carolinas All-Academic honors in 2012-13 and was named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll both semesters last year.
A junior from Narin Center, Ontario, Diebel is an exercise science major. He was named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll both semesters last year.
Willet is a senior from Chesterfield, Va., and is majoring in accounting. He posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average last spring and was selected to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll.
Bucek, a junior from Jacksonville, N.C., is majoring in biology and was named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll both semesters last year. At the Paul Short Invitational earlier in October, Bucek recorded the 12th fastest 6k time in Trojan women's cross country history.
A senior exercise science major from Starke, Fla., Jordan garnered Conference Carolinas All-Academic honors in 2012-13 and was named to the Presidential Honor Roll both semesters last year. She finished 13th at last year's Conference Carolinas Women's Cross Country Championship and was named to the All-Conference Team.
Mount Olive competes in the 2013 Conference Carolinas Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships Friday at Charlotte, N.C. The Trojans won last year's men's championship and finished second in the women's championship.