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September 27, 2023 8:27 pm

Mount Olive advances past King

PEMBROKE – Sophomore Ashlyn Stone and senior Amara Eziakonwa combined for 29 kills on Nov. 11, as the University of Mount Olive women’s volleyball team posted a 3-1 victory over King in the quarterfinals of the Conference Carolinas Championship at the Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court by scores of 25-15, 20025, 25-16, 25-22.

With the win, the Trojans improved to 23-8 overall and advanced to the semifinals to face the top-seeded West Division champions Emmanuel. UMO and Emmanuel met earlier this season with the Lions securing a 3-0 win on Oct. 8. Meanwhile, King concluded the season with a 15-16 mark after entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed in the West.

Stone matched a season-high with 17 kills on a .484 hitting percentage, her 11th match this season tallying double-digit kills. Eziakonwa finished with 12 kills on a .346 clip and added three blocks and five digs against King. Senior Ele’sia Williams registered eight kills, while Senior Camryn Huber and Sophomore Neza Pec both totaled seven kills. Senior Jenna Myer had 28 assists and senior Madison Goodman had 17.

Pec led the defensive effort with 19 digs, and Sophomore Morgan Prots finished with 14 digs and four assists on Friday night. The Trojans controlled the net with Senior Alyssa Jackson notching four blocks, while Eziakonwa and Huber each totaled three.

Mount Olive claimed the opening set after tallying 13 kills. The Trojans built an 8-3 advantage before the Tornado stormed back with four-consecutive points to cut the lead to 8-7. Both sides traded the next 10 points before UMO used an 11-2 run behind three kills from Stone to take a 24-14 lead. Following a kill by King, Huber delivered a kill to close the first set, 25-15.

The Tornado knotted the match in the second set after establishing a 10-7 advantage early. The Trojans managed to trim the deficit to 15-14 before King scored six of the next nine points to take a 21-17 lead. UMO answered with a 3-1 rally to close the gap to just two points before the Tornado took the second set behind three-consecutive points, 25-20.

In the third set, Mount Olive had 15 kills to reclaim the lead. King grabbed an early 7-6 advantage before the Trojans tallied five of the next seven points to take an 11-9 advantage. The match remained within at least three points before seven-straight points from UMO made it a 24-15 lead. After a kill from King, the Trojans secured the third set on an attacking error, 25-16.

The fourth set featured six ties and three lead changes. The Trojans used a 5-0 run to take a 12-8 advantage before scoring four of the next seven points to stretch the lead to 16-11. The Tornado countered with a 5-2 rally to cut the deficit to 18-16, but UMO answered with four of the following five points to extend the advantage to 22-17. King closed the gap to 22-20 before both sides exchanged the next five points, and Mount Olive sealed the win, 25-22.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics