Trojans Battle No. 16 Ball State To Four Sets In Men's Volleyball Season Opener

Trojans Battle No. 16 Ball State To Four Sets In Men's Volleyball Season Opener

Freshman Peyton Schirman recorded 15 kills in his first collegiate match and Mike Mann sparked a third-set rally with four aces as University of Mount Olive battled nationally 16th-ranked Ball State to four sets before falling 25-21, 25-16, 21-25, 25-17 in non-conference men's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. The match was the season opener for both teams.

Mount Olive (0-1) dropped the first two sets and trailed 10-5 in the third set before a block and an ace by Schirman helped rally the Trojans. Ball State (1-0) had committed only two attack errors through the first two sets, but Mann contributed to blocks on consecutive points to pull the Trojans within 11-10.

Mount Olive was still within a point when back-to-back aces by Mann put the Trojans ahead to stay. His service just inside the back line tied the set and his next serve hit the top of the tape and landed on the Cardinal floor to give Mount Olive a 15-14 lead. After a kill by Schirman, Mann served aces on the next two points to complete a 6-0 run and extend the Trojans' lead to 18-14.

Ball State pulled within 22-21, but a kill by Mann and an ace by Kian Hollevoet gave Mount Olive its first set point. A ball-handling error against the Cardinals forced a fourth set.

In the fourth set, Mount Olive used three kills by Schirman and a block by Andrew Sydow and Tyler Yanez for a 4-0 run and a 6-3 lead. After a Ball State timeout, the Cardinals rallied for three unanswered points to tie the set. The set was still tied 9-9 when Brendan Surane contributed to blocks on back-to-back points during a 5-0 run as Ball State took the lead for good. Mount Olive got as close as 19-16 after an ace by Schirman, but Ball State outscored the Trojans 6-1 to end the match.

The first set saw 13 consecutive ties as neither team led by more than a point until Ball State scored three straight points to take a 16-13 lead. Mount Olive pulled within 21-20 after kills by Hollevoet and Robert Poole, but Ball State scored the next three points and went on to win the opening set.

Mount Olive led 9-7 in the second set after a pair of kills by Poole, but Ball State used three consecutive kills by Marcin Niemczewski to spark a 9-2 run and go on top to stay. The Trojans never got closer the four points the remainder of the set as the Cardinals took a two-set lead.

Poole finished with nine kills and shared team-high honors with Josh Donahue with seven digs. Poole, Hollevoet and Schirman each served two aces as the Trojans finished with 11 aces as a team. Mann and Sydow recorded three blocks apiece for Mount Olive. Yanez finished with 37 assists.

Niemczewski led all players with 17 kills and only two errors in 27 attempts for a .556 hitting percentage. Surane had a match-high four blocks, while Hiago Garchet finished with 38 assists.

Mount Olive is idle until next weekend when the Trojans open Conference Carolinas play with a pair of matches at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans play host to North Greenville Friday at 7 p.m. and Emmanuel Saturday at 2 p.m. North Greenville is in its first year of men's volleyball and Emmanuel is in its first year in Conference Carolinas.