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March 25, 2023 1:33 pm

Trojans fall in semifinals versus Emmanuel

PEMBROKE, N.C. – Despite tallying a game-high 40 kills as a team, the Trojans fell by a 3-0 margin against Emmanuel on Saturday night in the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Championship at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court by scores of 27-25, 25-20, 25-22.

With the loss, the University of Mount Olive women’s volleyball team concluded its season with a 23-9 overall record after reaching the 20-win mark for the first time in more than 15 years. The Trojans showed incredible growth this season under third-year head coach Emma Celentano and had a pair of players receive first-team all-conference honors.

Sophomore Ashlyn Stone paced the team with 12 kills and added three digs. A native of Rougemont, Stone put together an impressive two-day stretch at the tournament with 29 total kills. Senior Amara Eziakonwa finished with nine kills and tallied four digs, while Sophomore Neza Pec recorded seven kills against Emmanuel. Senior Jenna Myer had 21 assists and fellow senior Madison Goodman added 14.

Sophomore Morgan Prots registered a game-high 19 digs to guide the UMO defense, while Pec also reached double-digit digs with 18 on Saturday.

The opening set featured eight ties and four lead changes. The Lions held a 9-6 lead before the Trojans countered with five straight points including two kills from senior Ele’sia Williams to take an 11-9 advantage. Emmanuel scored four of the following six points to tie the match at 13 before UMO recorded back-to-back points. The Lions responded with five straight points to take an 18-15 lead before both sides exchanged the next 10 points. Mount Olive tallied three-consecutive kills to tie the match at 23 before Emmanuel scored four of the following six points to take the first set, 27-25.

In the second set, UMO jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind a pair of kills from Stone before building the lead up to 14-10 following a 4-1 run. The Lions rallied by scoring six of the next seven points to take the lead, 16-15. Following a kill from Eziakonwa, Emmanuel registered three-straight points, but the Trojans answered with a 3-0 run to tie the match at 19-19. The Lions took the second set with a 6-1 run to win by a score of 25-20.

Emmanuel secured the win after collecting 14 kills in the third set. Mount Olive established a 10-7 lead before the Lions went on a 4-0 run to take a 12-10 advantage. The Trojans countered with five of the following seven points to take a 15-14 lead before Emmanuel rallied off a 5-0 run to reclaim a 19-15 advantage. Both teams traded the next six points before the Lions scored consecutive points to take a 24-18 lead. UMO cut the deficit with four straight points, but Emmanuel delivered a kill to seal the win, 25-22.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics