Charnel Austin and Keri Nolan sparked a frantic comeback late in the first set, but the rally came up short as the Trojans fell to Lees-McRae 25-20, 25-20, 25-16 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Friday at Banner Elk, N.C.
Mount Olive (4-5 overall, 1-1 Conference Carolinas) trailed 22-12 in the first set when an ace by Austin and a kill by Nolan highlighted a 5-0 Trojan run to cut the deficit in half. After a Lees-McRae side out, another kill by Nolan capped a 3-0 run to pull the Trojans within 23-20. But Lees-McRae (4-6, 2-0) won the final two points to escape with a one-set lead.
In the second set, Mount Olive trailed just 15-14 when kills from Taylor Clendenin and Lauren Fox gave the Bobcats breathing room. The margin never fell below three points the rest of the way.
In the clinching set, a Dezirae Mackey kill gave the Trojans an 8-7 advantage. But Clendenin delivered three consecutive aces to help Lees-McRae pull away.
Carley White led Mount Olive with eight kills, while Destiny Ma'ave-Kuewa finished with 13 assists. Defensively, Lauren Lee recorded 10 of the Trojans' 28 digs.
Megan Epperson tallied a match-high 10 kills for Lees-McRae.
Mount Olive concludes its weekend road trip Saturday afternoon when the Trojans travel to Belmont, N.C., to take on Belmont Abbey in Conference Carolinas action. Match time is 2 p.m.