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June 14, 2024 11:40 pm

UMO downed in league opener at Belmont Abbey

BELMONT – On the opening night of conference play, the Trojans were unable to find an offensive rhythm in a 3-0 loss at Belmont Abbey in Conference Carolinas action on Feb. 10 by scores of 25-14, 25-21, 25-22.

With the loss, the University of Mount Olive men’s volleyball program dropped its third straight match and fell to 4-4 this season and 0-1 in league play after playing seven of eight games on the road. The defeat snapped a three-game winning streak for UMO against the Crusaders after a trio of victories in 2022. Meanwhile, Belmont Abbey improved to 2-7 overall and a 1-1 record in conference action.

Junior Justin Gregory led the team with 10 kills with an ace and a block in three sets played. Senior Pedro Gonzalez totaled seven kills with three digs and two blocks, while sophomore Tate Sandvig produced six kills, two assists and two digs. Freshman Jackson Lahey led the offensive effort with 32 assists, four digs and one block in the loss.

Senior Trevor Treser directed the defensive effort with nine digs, while Gregory registered five digs. The Trojans were limited to just one service ace and three blocks in the sweep.

Belmont Abbey claimed the opening set behind 11 kills while limiting UMO to single-digit kills. Mount Olive built a 5-3 advantage after a pair of kills from Gonzalez before the Crusaders stormed back with three straight points to lead 6-5. Both teams exchanged the following six points before Belmont Abbey mounted a 10-2 rally to stretch the advantage to 20-11. UMO responded by tallying three of the next five points, but the Crusaders scored three consecutive points to take the initial set 25-14.

In the second set the Crusaders opened by taking a 2-0 lead. Belmont Abbey then managed to establish an 11-6 advantage after a 4-1 run. The Crusaders held a 16-10 lead at the midway point before UMO cut the deficit to 20-16 following a trio of kills. After back-to-back points from Belmont Abbey, the Trojans went on a 5-1 rally to close the gap to 23-21. The Crusaders regained focus and finished with consecutive points to secure the second set 25-21.

Belmont Abbey sealed the 3-0 sweep in the third after leading the set wire-to-wire with 13 kills. The Crusaders raced out to a 7-1 advantage before UMO cut the deficit to 12-8. The Trojans remained within striking distance before Belmont Abbey extended the lead with a 4-1 run to lead 20-14. Mount Olive totaled four of the following five points to close the gap to 21-18 after a pair of attacking errors. The Crusaders countered with three unanswered points to reach match point, but UMO battled back with four straight to trail 24-22. Belmont Abbey claimed the third set on the next possession with a kill to win the match.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics