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April 16, 2024 3:50 pm

Mount Olive collects conference win

MOUNT OLIVE – After a season-high 22 kills from sophomore Tate Sandvig, the Trojans collected a massive Conference Carolinas victory over North Greenville by a 3-1 margin on March 24 at Kornegay Arena by scores of 25-21, 26-24, 27-29, 25-18.

With the win, the University of Mount Olive men’s volleyball team improved to 8-12 this season and 4-6 in league play behind a third straight conference win. It marked the first win over the Crusaders since the 2020 season and snapped a five-game skid in the series. Meanwhile, North Greenville fell to 13-7 overall with a 6-3 mark in conference action.

Sandvig delivered a match-high 22 kills with four service aces, two blocks and six digs. A native of Boone, Iowa, he paces the team in several offensive categories this year, including points, kills and aces. Sandvig has tallied double-digit kills in five of the last six matches.

Senior Pedro Gonzalez produced 12 kills with a team-leading six blocks, while junior Hayden Frear finished with a kill/dig double-double after recording 11 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Jackson Lahey guided the offense with his fourth assist/dig double-double of the year, following 47 assists and 14 digs.

Junior Justin Gregory led the defensive effort with 15 digs, while senior libero Trevor Treser and Lahey each totaled 14 digs. The Trojans registered 12 service aces as a team, while at the net Gonzalez posted six blocks, and sophomore Holden Maryott added five.

In the first set, North Greenville leaped to an early 7-5 advantage before the Trojans countered by scoring five of the following six points to take a 10-8 edge. Both teams traded points midway through the set before the Crusaders grabbed a 16-14 lead. After tying the match at 16-16, UMO managed to take a 20-19 lead behind kills from three players. NGU responded with back-to-back points before Mount Olive closed the set with five unanswered points, 25-21.

After trailing 4-1 to begin the second set, the Trojans mounted a 7-0 run with a pair of kills by Frear to take an 8-4 advantage. The Crusaders managed to flip the script and reclaim the lead at 16-13 before UMO registered six of the next seven points to take a 19-17 lead with three kills by Sandvig. North Greenville rallied to tie the contest at 24-24, but Mount Olive answered with a kill by Gonzalez and a combined block to win the set, 26-24.

In a tightly contested third set, NGU held a slight 11-10 lead before the Trojans went on a 7-1 rally with a pair of service aces to take a 17-12 advantage. The Crusaders countered with an 11-3 run to gather a 23-20 lead, but UMO rattled off four straight points to reach match point, 24-23. North Greenville escaped match point four times before scoring three straight to win, 29-27.

In the fourth set, the Crusaders jumped out to an 8-6 advantage before Mount Olive countered with an 8-3 rally to take a 14-11 edge. NGU trimmed the deficit to 15-14, but the Trojans answered back with three consecutive points, 18-14. Both sides exchanged points before a short 4-1 run sealed the match win, 25-18.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics