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May 27, 2024 9:29 am

UMO falls short at No. 14 Charleston in five-set thriller

CHARLESTON, W. VA. – The Trojans featured four players with double-digit kills in a five-set thriller on March 10 and ultimately fell by a 3-2 margin at No. 14 ranked Charleston (WV) in non-conference action. Charleston won the match by scores of 25-27, 25-20, 25-18, 29-31, 15-13.

With the loss, the University of Mount Olive men’s volleyball team dropped to 5-11 after playing its first match in more than two weeks. It marked just the second match between the sides in the series with the record split at 1-1. Meanwhile, Charleston improved to 16-1 overall with an undefeated 10-0 mark on its home court.

Sophomore Tate Sandvig registered a kill/dig double-double after pacing the team with 15 kills while adding 11 digs and three blocks on the defensive end. Senior Pedro Gonzalez delivered 14 kills, while junior Hayden Frear produced 12 kills. Junior Justin Gregory also recorded a kill/dig double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Jackson Lahey directed the offense with 53 assists while tallying five digs and two blocks.

Senior libero Trevor Treser established a season high with 16 digs, while Gregory and Sandvig each reached double figures. At the net, Gonzalez and freshman Constantinos Iacovou totaled a team-high six blocks with Gregory tallying four.

The first set featured 21 ties and five lead changes, as the Golden Eagles developed an early 11-9 advantage. Mount Olive responded by tying the match twice before scoring four of six points to take an 18-17 lead following a service error. Charleston tied the contest at 19 before both teams exchanged the next 12 points for a 25-25 tie. The Trojans ultimately claimed the first set 27-25 following an assisted block by Gregory and Iacovou.

The Golden Eagles maintained an advantage over the initial points of the second set with an 11-9 lead. UMO answered by scoring six of the following nine points to take a 15-14 lead after capitalizing on a trio of attacking errors. Charleston responded by totaling three straight points before the Trojans tied the set at 18. The Golden Eagles closed out the second with a 7-2 rally to win by a 25-20 margin.

Mount Olive leaped out to an 8-4 lead in the third set after four different players delivered kills. Charleston countered with four unanswered points to tie the contest at 8 before going on an 11-5 run to hold a 19-13 advantage. UMO was unable get within striking distance, as the Golden Eagles sealed the third set by a score of 25-18.

The fourth set featured a combined 60 points scored with 12 ties and five lead changes, as Mount Olive was able to force a fifth set. The Trojans built an early lead and stretched it to 15-11 after Gonzalez and Sandvig registered kills. The Golden Eagles slowly chipped away before mounting a 6-0 run to take a lead of 22-19. UMO responded with a 6-2 rally to reach match point at 25-24 before the set was tied 29-29. The Trojans benefited from a service error followed by a kill by Sandvig to earn the win, 31-29.

In the fifth set, the Trojans once again took the lead, 8-6, before each team exchanged points to make the score 11-9. Charleston rallied with five consecutive points to grab the lead 14-11 before Mount Olive scored back-to-back points to trail 14-13. The Golden Eagles secured the win on the next possession with a kill, 15-13.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics