Men's Volleyball Falls To Erskine In Four Sets In Conference Carolinas Match-Up

Men's Volleyball Falls To Erskine In Four Sets In Conference Carolinas Match-Up

University of Mount Olive won a marathon first set, but Erskine rallied to take the next three sets and hand the Trojans a 30-32, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 defeat in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Angel Dache followed Friday's 26-kill performance with 20 kills Saturday, while Lewis Einarson added 13 kills and only one error in 17 attempts for a .706 hitting percentage.

Mount Olive (1-4 overall, 1-2 Conference Carolinas) appeared to be on its way to a first-set win in regulation after Dache's kill gave the Trojans a 24-20 lead. Erskine (2-2, 2-0) saved four consecutive set points as Mike Kawa combined with Omar Melendez on a block to start the run and Kawa served an ace to put the Flying Fleet on top 25-24.

The two teams exchanged 11 consecutive side outs as Mount Olive saved six set points. Dache recorded three kills, including an emphatic spike from the right side off an Erskine overpass to tie the set 30-30. A block by Alex Palmatier and Tyler Yanez put Mount Olive back on top and a Flying Fleet attack error gave the Trojans the opening set.

Erskine would control most of the remainder of the match as Kawa had three kills during a 9-2 run in the second set to turn a one-point lead into a 21-13 advantage. A pair of kills by Michael Michelau and a block by Kawa on set point evened the match at one set apiece.

In the third set, three kills by Dache helped Mount Olive take an early 10-9 lead. The set was tied 11-11 when Kawa had a kill and combined on a pair of blocks to give Erskine a three-point lead and put the Flying Fleet ahead for the remainder of the set.

The Trojans got as close as 14-13 after a fingertip dig by Einarson kept a point alive and ended on an Erskine attack error. But the Flying Fleet used two kills and an ace by Michelau during a 6-0 run to put the set out of reach.

Einarson and Kawa each had a pair of kills to open the fourth set, but a Trojan service error gave Erskine a 3-2 lead and the Flying Fleet led the rest of the way. Mount Olive cut a seven-point deficit down to four and Dache saved one match point with a kill. Erskine sealed its first-ever win over the Trojans on a kill by Omar Melendez.

Dache finished with a .425 hitting percentage and Mount Olive hit .302 as a team. Yanez recorded 41 assists and seven digs, while Josh Donahue led the Trojans in the back row with eight digs. Palmatier had a team-high three blocks.

Michelau recorded a double-double with match highs of 25 kills and 14 digs, while Kawa added 24 kills and six blocks. Flying Fleet setter Corey Marks finished with 66 assists.

Mount Olive won both meetings over Erskine last year in the Flying Fleet's first year of men's volleyball.

Mount Olive heads to the Keystone State next weekend for a pair of matches, starting Friday at 7 p.m. in University Park, Pa., against nationally 12th ranked Penn State, the Trojans' third nationally ranked opponent already this season. Mount Olive concludes its trip Sunday against Saint Francis. Match time is 3 p.m. at Loretto, Pa.