Trojans Drop Five-Set Decision To Limestone

Trojans Drop Five-Set Decision To Limestone

University of Mount Olive was within two points of staying unbeaten in conference play, but Limestone College ended the match on a 4-0 run to defeat the Trojans 23-25, 29-27, 18-25, 25-21, 15-13 in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. Angel Dache led all players with a career-high 26 kills, while Steven Cruse added 22 kills, also a career high. Trojan libero Josh Donahue tallied 20 digs, one shy of matching the school record.

Mount Olive (1-3 overall, 1-1 Conference Carolinas) scored the first two points of the final set on a kill by Dache and a solo block by Garrett Dimm. Limestone (5-1, 3-0) came back with a 3-0 run as the set saw 10 ties and six lead changes.

Neither team led by more than a point until a block by Dache and Lewis Einarson gave the Trojans a 13-11 lead. Limestone converted a side out after Mount Olive was unable to capitalize on a free ball opportunity and Joel McGuire's serve landed on the end line as the Saints tied the set 13-13.

Limestone regained the lead on a block by Eric Zaun and Luca Wanek, and the Saints sealed the win on a Trojan error on match point.

The lead was never more than three points at any time during the first two sets, but Mount Olive jumped out to a 7-2 advantage in the third set as Dimm had three kills to spark the run. Limestone chipped away at the lead and tied the set at 15-15 after a block by Joel Muhlbach and Jon Schaefer.

Mount Olive scored the next three points on kills by Dache and Cruse sandwiched around an ace by Dimm, and the Trojans led the remainder of the set. Limestone got as close as 20-18, but Dache recorded three kills during a set-ending 5-0 run to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead in sets.

Limestone jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and staved off a Trojan comeback to win the set. A kill and an ace by Muhlback helped Limestone extend the lead to four points and Schaeffer's block gave the Saints their biggest lead at 17-11.

Kills by Cruse and Dache, and blocks by Andrew Sydow on consecutive points pulled Mount Olive within 20-18. But that was as close as the Trojans would get and Schaefer's kill on set point forced a fifth set.

Neither team could pull away in the opening set until back-to-back aces gave Mount Olive a 20-17 lead. Limestone saved a pair of set points before Dache's kill gave the Trojans a one-set lead.

In the second set, Dache's kill broke a 23-23 tie to put the Trojans within a point of taking a two-set lead. Eric Zaun's kill saved a set point for Limestone and his ace gave the Saints their first set point. Mount Olive saved three set points before kills by Zaun and Schaefer evened the match at a set apiece.

Dache tied Christiaan Rambaut for the second-highest single-match kills total in school history and came within two kills of matching Adam Miracle's record of 28 kills. Cruse tied for the sixth-highest total in Trojan men's volleyball history. Donahue just missed tying Kris Suarez's single-match digs record.

Mount Olive placed four players in double figures as Dimm finished with 13 kills and Einarson added 11. Dimm added 11 digs to finish with a double-double. Tyler Yanez recorded 52 assists in three-plus sets and Quaid Marin added 14 assists off the bench. Sydow finished with a team-high four blocks.

Schaefer led Limestone with 18 kills, while Zaun had 13 kills and Muhlbach added 10 kills. Curtis Van Grinsven and Nick Wildes shared match-high honors with seven blocks apiece, while Zaun added six blocks. The Saints finished with 17.5 team blocks, compared to 9.5 for Mount Olive.

Mount Olive is back in action Saturday afternoon as the Trojans play host to Erskine in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Match time is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.