Samantha Winfield recorded two of her career-high 18 digs on match point and served three of her five aces during a first-set scoring run as University of Mount Olive defeated Pfeiffer 26-24, 25-22, 25-19 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. Alysha Burnett shared match-high honors with 10 kills for the Trojans, which swept the season series against the Falcons.
Mount Olive (4-15 overall, 3-6 Conference Carolinas) trailed by as many as three points in the opening set before Winfield served three aces during a 9-0 run to give the Trojans a 21-14 lead. Pfeiffer came back with four unanswered points and Shenelle Charlot's kill tied the set 23-23.
After the two teams traded service errors, Danielle Plante's kill gave Mount Olive a 25-24 lead. On the ensuing point, Nicole Karas made a diving dig and the ball went over the net and onto an open spot on the floor to give the Trojans the first set.
The Trojans saw a four-point lead disappear in the second set as kills by Charlot and Kayla Hyatt highlighted a 7-1 Pfeiffer run to put the Falcons on top 19-17. Mount Olive used kills by Britni Johnson and Montgomery Register to tie the set and a Pfeiffer service errors gave the Trojans a 23-22 lead. A block on the left side by Sydney Kanupp and Sarah Watkins set up match point and Winfield's ace down the left sideline gave Mount Olive a two-set advantage.
Pfeiffer (1-13, 0-8) vaulted out to a 5-0 lead in the third set as Charlot served a pair of aces. Winfield's fifth ace of the match helped Mount Olive tie the set 9-9, but the Falcons regained a five-point lead after Laura Ann Fortner's kill ignited a 5-0 run. The Trojans rallied again as aces by Burnett and Kanupp helped tie the set 16-16.
Mount Olive was up 20-19 when a block by Kanupp and Burnett triggered a match-ending five-point run. On match point, Winfield dug an attack by Charlot to keep the point alive, then dug an attack by Fortner to set up Johnson's kill to seal the win.
Johnson finished with eight kills to go with 11 digs, while Plante added seven kills. Megan Hight recorded a match-high three blocks as eight different Trojans had at least one block assist. Karas and Danielle Stachura recorded 14 assists apiece. Stachura served the final four points of the match.
Charlot finished with 10 kills, nine digs, two aces and two blocks for Pfeiffer. Hyatt and Taylor Hewitt also served two aces apiece.
Mount Olive concludes its weekend homestand and celebrates Senior Day Saturday as the Trojans play host to Belmont Abbey College in Conference Carolinas action. Match time is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.
Prior to the match, Trojan seniors Nicole Karas, Morgan Morrissette and Danielle Plante will be recognized during Senior Day ceremonies. In addition, as part of "Cures for the Colors Day" in the fight against cancer, donations will be collected for Southeastern Cancer Care at Saturday's women's volleyball match, as well as at the Trojan men's and women's soccer matches.