University of Mount Olive served a season-high 13 aces, but was unable to hold onto a two-set lead as the Trojans fell to Barton 17-25, 21-25, 25-14, 25-15, 15-11 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. Samantha Winfield led the Trojans with a career-high six aces.
Winfield served three of her aces during a 9-0 run in the first set as Mount Olive (5-13 overall, 2-6 Conference Carolinas) erased an early three-point deficit and built a 15-8 lead. The margin grew to double digits before Barton (7-10, 5-3) saved four set points. Sarah Watkins' kill down the right side gave the Trojans the opening set.
The second set was highlighted by an electrifying 16-shot rally, eventually won by Mount Olive to give the Trojans an 18-16 lead. UMO libero Casey Fiechter recorded five of her match-high 20 digs during the rally. Watkins recorded kills on the final two points to give Mount Olive a two-set advantage.
Barton controlled the third set as the Bulldogs capitalized on Trojan miscues to build a double-digit lead. Jillian Sherman's ace on set point kept Barton in the match.
Mount Olive rallied from an early eight-point deficit in the fourth set as Montgomery Register's ace capped a 9-2 run and pulled the Trojans within 14-13. Barton came back with seven unanswered points to pull away and force a fifth set.
After spotting Barton the first two points, Mount Olive came back on back-to-back kills in the middle by Dezirae Mackey. Barton answered with a 3-0 run and the Bulldogs led the rest of the way.
Watkins led a balanced Mount Olive attack with 10 kills as six different Trojans recorded six or more kills. Ellen Morgan had nine kills, Britni Johnson finished with eight kills, Register and Alysha Burnett each added seven kills and Mackey tallied six kills. Winfield had 22 assists and 12 digs to go with her service performance, while Aubrey McKinney added 16 assists. Burnett served three aces for the Trojans and Register had two aces to go with a team-high five blocks.
Melissa Cochran led Barton with a match-high 12 kills to go with six blocks, while Kaitlyn Micol added a match-high seven blocks. Alex Ward and Catherine Barber combined for nine of the Bulldogs' 13 aces.
The Trojans are now 2-2 this season in five-set matches.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans travel to Savannah, Ga., for a pair of non-conference matches hosted by nationally 20th-ranked Armstrong State. The Trojans take on Lander at 3 p.m., then face Armstrong State at 5 p.m.