Sarah Robertson recorded 13 kills and seven blocks, and Samantha Winfield served an ace on match point to lead University of Mount Olive to a 25-15, 27-25, 23-25, 25-20 victory over Pfeiffer University in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Friday at Misenheimer, N.C. The win was the Trojans' first of the season in conference play.
The Trojans settled for a split in their weekend road trip after falling to Belmont Abbey 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 Saturday at Belmont, N.C. Britni Johnson led Mount Olive with nine kills.
In Friday's match, Mount Olive (4-10 overall, 1-3 Conference Carolinas) captured the first two sets, but Pfeiffer won the third set to extend the match. A pair of blocks by Robertson and Montgomery Register, along with back-to-back aces by Clara Ervin, highlighted a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie in the final set and put the Trojans ahead to stay.
The Trojans built the lead to as many as seven points before Pfeiffer (0-12, 0-5) rallied to pull within 23-20 after a kill by McKenzie McDonald. Mount Olive ended the Falcons' rally as Britni Johnson answered with her 12th kill of the match and Winfield clinched the win with her ace.
In the opening set, Mount Olive used a 10-0 run - its longest scoring run of the season - to break away from a one-point lead and go up 19-8. Winfield served during the run, highlighted by a block and back-to-back kills by Robertson.
The Trojans had to play catch up in the second set after a pair of kills by Kelly Lancellot helped give Pfeiffer a 13-9 lead. Aubrey McKinney served an ace during a four-point Mount Olive run to tie the set and neither team led by more than two points the rest of the way.
Pfeiffer had two opportunities to even the match at a set apiece, but Mount Olive saved both set points. A Falcon attack error broke a 25-25 tie and Johnson's kill gave the Trojans a two-set lead.
Mount Olive was three points away from a sweep after a block by Robertson and Dezirae Mackey gave the Trojans a 22-19 lead in the third set. Pfeiffer scored six of the next seven points to force a fourth set.
The third-set loss brought back memories of last Saturday's contest when Mount Olive fell to Emmanuel after winning the first two sets and building a lead in the third set. But the Trojans built a lead in the fourth set they would never relinquish to avoid deja vu.
Mackey finished with 10 kills and no errors for a .435 hitting percentage to go with six blocks. Winfield recorded 26 assists and McKinney added 17 assists for the Trojans. Johnson tallied a team-high 15 digs.
Lancellot led all players with 14 kills for Pfeiffer, while Blauser added 10 kills. Haley Denny had a match-high 24 digs for the Falcons.
Against Belmont Abbey, Mount Olive dropped the first set and trailed 8-1 in the second set. The Trojans chipped away at the deficit and tied the set 13-13 after Johnson and Sarah Watkins recorded two kills apiece during a 4-1 run. But Mount Olive could never gain the lead as Belmont Abbey (4-11, 3-3) went on to win the second and third sets.
Mount Olive returns to action Tuesday as the Trojans travel to Wilson, N.C., to take on Barton in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Match time is 7 p.m.