HARROGATE, Tenn. – After yielding 42 kills, the Trojan men’s volleyball team suffered a 3-0 sweep on the road on Jan. 13 at Lincoln Memorial in non-conference action by scores of 25-20, 25-17, 25-20.
With the loss, UMO fell to 1-1 this season following the opening week of play against a pair of independent programs. This marked the first meeting between the sides in more than three years with the Railsplitters holding a 3-2 edge in the series. Meanwhile, Lincoln Memorial, the four-time defending Independent Volleyball Association tournament champions, improved to 2-3 overall after opening the year with a four-game road trip in California.
Redshirt junior transfer Hayden Frear paced the Trojans for a second straight match in kills with 10. Through two matches, he leads the team in points while averaging 3.71 kills per set after joining the program following three seasons at McKendree. Sophomore transfer Tate Sandvig followed close behind with eight kills, while senior Pedro Gonzalez and junior Justin Gregory finished with five kills, respectively. Freshman Jackson Lahey guided the offense with 26 assists against LMU on Friday.
Senior Trevor Treser directed the defensive effort with nine digs, while three other players finished with four digs. The Trojans failed to register an ace in the match, and Gregory led the team with two blocks at the net.
The Railsplitters took the first set by a 25-20 margin as both teams reached double-digit kills. Lincoln Memorial established an early 7-2 advantage while capitalizing on a trio of attacking errors by UMO. Despite the slow start, Mount Olive responded with an 8-4 rally to close the gap to 11-10 following three service errors from LMU. The Railsplitters scored five of the next seven points to extend the advantage to 16-12, but UMO answered a 6-2 run to tie the match at 18. Lincoln Memorial countered with four consecutive points, including back-to-back aces, before taking the opening set by totaling three of the final five points.
LMU stretched the advantage to 2-0 after producing 12 kills in the second set. The Railsplitters quickly grabbed a 9-4 lead, but Mount Olive countered with three straight points to cut the deficit to 9-7. LMU managed to remain ahead with a 17-12 advantage before both teams exchanged the following five points. The Railsplitters took advantage of three straight errors by the Trojans as part of a 6-2 run to win the set, 25-17.
In the third, Lincoln Memorial sealed the victory 25-20 after there were 12 different ties in the set. Mount Olive built a 4-2 lead to begin the third before holding a 9-7 advantage behind kills from Sandvig and sophomore Holden Maryott. Through the middle of the set, the Railsplitters tied the match seven times before tallying three unanswered points to take a 17-15 lead. Both sides traded the next 10 points before Lincoln Memorial claimed the sweep after three-consecutive kills, 25-20.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics