Men's Volleyball Holds Off Belmont Abbey For Third Straight Conference Road Win

Men's Volleyball Holds Off Belmont Abbey For Third Straight Conference Road Win

Steven Cruse and Angel Dache recorded 13 kills apiece as University of Mount Olive posted its third straight conference road win with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Belmont Abbey in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Tuesday at Belmont, N.C. The Trojans withstood challenges in each set to win for the sixth time in their last seven matches to move to .500 on the season.

Mount Olive (7-7 overall, 6-3 Conference Carolinas) trailed throughout most of the third set until setter Quaid Marin's second-ball kill broke an 19-19 tie and put the Trojans ahead to stay. Cruse followed with a kill to give the Trojans a two-point lead before the two teams began to exchange side outs.

Belmont Abbey (2-10, 1-7) saved one match point on a Trojan attack error before Cruse's solo block from the right side sealed the win for Mount Olive.

Mount Olive built a 15-9 lead in the opening set after a block by Lewis Einarson and Quaid Marin, and still held a six-point lead at 20-14 before Belmont Abbey rallied. Spencer Fournell had three kills during a 7-1 Crusader run, capped by a Trojan attack error that evened the set at 21-21.

After the two teams traded side outs, Garrett Dimm's kill put Mount Olive ahead to stay 23-22. Einarson followed with a solo block and Belmont Abbey committed an attack error on set point.

In the second set, Marin served an ace and Dache added a block and a kill during a 4-1 run as Mount Olive broke away from an 11-11 tie. Belmont Abbey got as close as 21-19 after a pair of kills by Brennan Beyner, but the Trojans scored four of the final five points to close out the set. Mike Mann's kill gave the Trojans a two-set advantage.

Trojan libero Josh Donahue, who earned Off The Block National Freshman of the Week Honorable mention for the second time this season, led the Trojans in the back row with 10 digs. Cruse added nine digs to come within a dig of a double-double.

Dimm added 10 kills for Mount Olive, while Einarson and Marin shared match-high honors with four blocks apiece. Marin, who also had three kills, finished with 42 assists.

Fournell and Jon Lowenhagen led the Crusaders with seven kills apiece. Johnny Gomez had a match-high 13 digs.

Mount Olive is idle until February 28 when the Trojans begin a spring break trip to the Hoosier State for a pair of contest against Division I opponents. Mount Olive heads to Fort Wayne, Ind., February 28 to take on IPFW (Indiana University of Purdue University at Fort Wayne), then go to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State.