Men's Volleyball Holds Off Pfeiffer For Top Of Conference Standings

Men's Volleyball Holds Off Pfeiffer For Top Of Conference Standings

Mount Olive had to earn the top spot in the Conference Carolinas men's volleyball standings Wednesday night in Salisbury, N.C. The Trojans did just that, fighting off a miracle comeback for a 25-22, 25-20, 25-27, 16-25, 15-11 over Pfeiffer in a rematch of last season's conference championship game. The win keeps the Trojans perfect in conference play and gives the squad a two-game lead over Pfeiffer.

The Trojans (10-3 overall, 9-0 CC) got double figures in kills from Adam Miracle and Angel Dache (16 apiece) and Alex Rivero (11), while Ben Casado added 53 assists.

Mount Olive cruised through the first two sets and was ready to close out the sweep when Pfeiffer came alive. Facing match point, the Falcons (8-4, 7-2) rallied to win game three, then won game four easily to set up a tie-breaker.

In the fifth game, the Falcons took a 7-6 lead on a kill by Caleb Brophy. Then a service error by Pfeiffer got the Trojans started. Rivero delivered a kill, then Richard Hesse followed with a block for a 9-7 lead Mount Olive never relinquished. Twice Pfeiffer closed within a point at 9-8 and 10-9, but the Falcons got no closer. A kill by Tim Ebbecke and a Rivero ace extended the lead to 13-10, then kills by Dache and Ebbecke ended the comeback attempt.

In the opening game, the Trojans got a kill from Hesse to close out a Pfeiffer comeback. After battling back and forth for most of the game, Mount Olive scored four of five points including kills by Casado and Rivero to build a 22-17 cushion. A service error, followed by an attack error by the Hawks brought Mount Olive to game point. Pfeiffer fought off four attempts by the Trojans to finish off the game before Hesse delivered the winner.

In game two, the Trojans found themselves behind much of the game. Trailing 16-14, Mount Olive made its move. A service error by the Falcons got things started, then two aces by Dache and kills by Dache and Miracle put the Trojans ahead to stay. After Pfeiffer broke Mount Olive's service, Adam Miracle and Rivero added kills as the Trojans put the game away.

Miracle accounted for kills on Mount Olive's last three points in the game. All came on assists from Casado.

Mount Olive was within a point of completing the sweep in game three. With the score tied 22-22, Rivero delivered a kill and Ebbecke followed with a block to put the Trojans at match point. After a Pfeiffer timeout, however, a service error and a pair of attack errors put the Falcons ahead 25-24. A Miracle kill prevented the Falcons from closing out the set before Sonny Hirini delivered back-to-back kills to force game four.

In the fourth game, the Trojans never led after the Falcons used a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 advantage early.

Mount Olive fell to Pfeiffer in three sets in the championship match of the 2012 Conference Carolinas Tournament. Pfeiffer also won both regular season meetings.

Mount Olive returns home Saturday to face Eastern Mennonite University beginning at 4 p.m.