Still Unbeaten In Conference - Trojans Rally For Five-Set Win At Lees-McRae

Still Unbeaten In Conference - Trojans Rally For Five-Set Win At Lees-McRae

Angel Dache recorded two kills in a match-ending 8-2 scoring run, and Tim Ebbecke and Andreas Lengler combined on a block on match point as Mount Olive remained unbeaten in conference play with a come-from-behind 21-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-20, 15-10 victory over Lees-McRae in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Friday afternoon at Banner Elk, N.C. Adam Miracle led a balanced attack with 10 kills as five Trojans recorded eight or more kills. Mount Olive extended its winning streak to seven and ended Lees-McRae's six-match winning streak.

After winning the fourth set to stay in the match, Mount Olive (13-3 overall, 11-0 Conference Carolinas) trailed 8-7 in the fifth set as Lees-McRae scored three straight points to take the lead. Mount Olive capitalized on Bobcat errors on back-to-back points to go back on top, Dache followed kills on back-to-back points and Miracle's kill - on a set by Dache - capped a 5-0 run to give the Trojans a 12-8 lead.

Lees-McRae (11-4, 7-4) scored the next two points on a kill and a solo block by Jose Ribas. But Bobcat errors on the following two points gave Mount Olive match point at 14-10. Ebbecke and Lengler stuffed an attack attempt to seal the win.

Mount Olive fell behind 9-7 in the fourth set before Richard Hesse's kill and four Lees-McRae attack errors put the Trojans on top for the rest of the set. Lees-McRae got as close as one point, but a pair of kills by Ebbecke and a block by Hesse helped the Trojans extend the lead to 18-14. Mount Olive took its biggest lead of the set at 23-17 after a pair of kills by Lengler. Lees-McRae scored the next three points, but a Bobcat service error and attack error allowed Mount Olive to even the match at two sets apiece.

After dropping the first set, Mount Olive jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set after back-to-back blocks by Hesse. Lees-McRae pulled within a point, but kills by Miracle and Lengler extended the Trojans' lead to 10-6 and the margin never fell below three points the remainder of the set. Miracle's ace gave Mount Olive its biggest lead at 21-13 and Lengler's kill at set point tied the match at one set each.

The opening set was a battle of side outs that saw 13 ties until Lees-McRae took the lead for good at 17-16. Brady Markle's kill broke the tie and his two aces highlighted a 4-0 run. Mount Olive capitalized on four service errors to pull within two, but a Trojan service error on set point gave the Bobcats a one-set lead.

In the third set, Dache's block highlighted a 5-2 mini-run to pull Mount Olive within 17-14 after Lees-McRae had built a six-point advantage. But the Bobcats scored the next seven points to build a double-digit lead and went on to win the set. Matt Harpenau had three blocks and a kill during the run for Lees-McRae.

Dache, Ebbecke and Lengler finished with nine kills apiece for Mount Olive, while Lengler added eight kills. Ebbecke committed only one attack error in 12 attempts for a .667 hitting percentage. Ben Cassado recorded 38 assists, three kills and eight digs, while Dan Arnold led the Trojans in the backcourt with nine digs. Dache also had eight digs. Hesse led the Trojans with five blocks.

Ribas led four Lees-McRae players in double-figures with a match-high 15 kills, while Markle added 13 kills. Randy Ramirez finished with 52 assists for the Bobcats. Markle and Ramirez served two aces apiece to combine for four of the Bobcats' five aces, but Lees-McRae gave back 25 points on service errors.

Mount Olive is idle for spring break, then heads to Jamaica, N.Y., for the York College Volleyball Classic. The Trojans take on Lasell (Mass.) and tournament host York Friday, then face Lancaster Bible College (Pa.) and Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Saturday.