Trojans Take Division I Ball State To Four Sets

Trojans Take Division I Ball State To Four Sets

Angel Dache recorded a season-high 20 kills and helped Mount Olive split the first two sets against Division I Ball State before the Trojans fell 25-19, 26-28, 25-22, 25-20 in non-conference men's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. Ben Casado tallied a career-high 45 assists. The loss was the Trojans' first of the season, while Ball State remained undefeated.

After dropping the first set, Mount Olive (4-1) won what may have been the point of the night to gain early momentum in the second set. Adam Miracle recorded three digs in the point and finished it with a kill to give Mount Olive a 4-3 lead. The Trojans would never trail again in the set and built the lead to 10-7 after an ace by Casado and a kill by Andreas Lengler.

Ball State (4-0) rallied to tie the set 13-13 after a kill by Greg Herceg, who finished with a match-high 21 kills. Lewis Einarson's kill broke a 20-20 tie and Mount Olive had a chance to serve for the set after Dache's kill gave the Trojans a 24-22 advantage.

Ball State rallied to tie the set 24-24 after a kill by Shane Witmer and a block by Herceg and Greg Owens. Kills by Richard Hesse and Lengler set up two more set points, but Herceg's kills kept Ball State in the set.

Mount Olive went back on top 27-26 on Dache's kill off a set by libero Dan Arnold. Dache's serve led to a Cardinal overpass and Dache finished the point with a back row kill to even the match at a set apiece. Dache and Lengler combined for 12 of Mount Olive's 18 kills in the second set.

The Trojans led 11-9 in the third set after three consecutive Cardinal attack errors contributed to Mount Olive's 4-0 run. The Trojans maintained a two-point lead until back-to-back blocks by Kevin Owens highlighted a 5-1 Ball State run to put the Cardinals back on top 20-18.

Dache and Einarson combined on a block to tie the set 20-20 and the two teams traded side outs before Ball State scored three unanswered points to serve for the set. Dache's kill saved one set point, but Matt Leske answered with a kill to give Ball State the third set.

Ball State used back-to-back aces by Matt Sutherland to break away from a 3-3 tie and build a 10-5 lead in the fourth set. The margin grew to as many as six points before Hesse sparked a comeback with a kill, a block and an ace to pull Mount Olive within 20-17. But Ball State scored the next three points, two coming on consecutive kills by Owens, and the Cardinals went on the close out the match.

In the opening set, Mount Olive trailed 14-8 before a kill and back-to-back aces by Hesse brought the Trojans within two. But that was as close as Mount Olive would get as Ball State pulled away to take a one-set lead.

Lengler finished with 12 kills for Mount Olive, while Miracle added eight kills and eight digs. Hesse finished with three aces and four blocks, while Dache and Miracle also had four blocks apiece. The Trojans finished with 10.0 team blocks.

Witmer had 12 kills for Ball State, while Leske added 10 kills. Graham McIlvane played the first three sets at setter and finished with 43 assists. Herceg added three aces and six blocks for the Cardinals, while Owens led all players with nine blocks. Ball State recorded 14.5 team blocks.

Mount Olive returns to action Saturday evening as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Match time is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.