Mount Olive Matches Best-Ever Start - Trojans Defeat Erskine 3-0

Mount Olive Matches Best-Ever Start - Trojans Defeat Erskine 3-0

Adam Miracle led a balanced attack with 10 kills and Mount Olive matched its best-ever start to a season as the Trojans downed Erskine 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans are 4-0 for the first time since 2010 and have set a school record by winning their first 12 sets of the season.

Mount Olive (4-0 overall, 3-0 Conference Carolinas) withstood a late comeback in the first set, then had to come from behind in each of the next two sets to pull out the victory. The Trojans recorded a season-best 10.5 blocks.

The Trojans broke away from a 3-3 tie in the first set as a double block by freshmen Richard Hesse and Andreas Lengler gave Mount Olive a 10-5 lead. Hesse's kill gave Mount Olive its biggest lead at 21-14 before Erskine put together a comeback.

Mike Kawa's service ace highlighted a 5-0 Erskine run as the Flying Fleet got as close as 22-20. A kill by Miracle stopped Erskine's run and Lengler followed with an ace. After Erskine save a set point with a side out, Angel Dache recorded a kill to give Mount Olive the opening set.

Mount Olive scored five of the first six points of the second set before Erskine (2-1, 1-1) took its first lead of the match with a 5-0 run, highlighted by an ace by Michael Schneck. The Flying Fleet took advantage of Trojan attack errors to build a 12-9 advantage.

The Trojans rallied to tie the set and took the lead for good after a pair of kills by Lengler and an ace by Dache gave Mount Olive a 19-16 lead. Erskine scored the next two points to pull within one, but the Trojans ended the set on a 6-2 run, capped by another block by Hesse and Lengler, to take a two-set lead.

Miscues played a role in the third set as five consecutive points were decided on service errors during one stretch midway through the set. Mount Olive rallied from a 17-15 deficit as Dache, Ben Casado and Lewis Einarson combined on a triple block and Einarson's kill put the Trojans on top to stay at 19-18.

Dache recorded back-to-back aces to extend Mount Olive's lead to 23-18 and the Trojans sealed the win on Erskine attack errors on the final two points. Dache finished with a match-high four aces.

Mount Olive compiled a season-high .403 hitting percentage, committing only seven errors in 62 attempts.

Casado finished with 30 assists and shared match-high honors with Hesse with four blocks for Mount Olive. Einarson and Hesse added three blocks apiece. Dache and Lengler each finished with seven kills. Miracle, Casado and Dan Arnold recorded five digs apiece. Arnold came off the bench to start the third set at libero.

Mike Michelau led all players with 16 kills for Erskine, which is in its first season of men's volleyball. Neal Stanley recorded a match-high eight digs.

Mount Olive is idle until next weekend when the Trojans continue their four-match homestand with a pair of contests at Kornegay Arena. Mount Olive plays host to Division I Ball State Friday, then entertains Lees-McRae Saturday in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Match time both nights is 7 p.m.