Peyton Schirman led all players with 17 kills and Bret Rutledge added 12 kills as University of Mount Olive swept Limestone 25-17, 25-23, 25-22 in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Friday afternoon at Gaffney, S.C. The kills totals for freshmen Schirman and Rutledge were career highs.
Mount Olive (3-1 overall, 3-0 Conference Carolinas) broke away from a 5-5 tie in the first set after kills on consecutive points by Andrew Sydow, Kian Hollevoet and Schirman. A pair of kills by Sydow highlighted a 4-0 run that extended the Trojans' lead to 18-11. The margin never fell below five points and Hollevoet's solo block on set point gave Mount Olive the opening set.
Limestone (3-5, 2-1) used three early kills by Bruno Kretzschmar to take a 12-9 lead in the second set. Kills by Schirman and Rutledge sparked a three-point run to tie the set as the two teams went on to split the next 18 points for a 21-21 tie. Mike Mann broke the tie for Mount Olive with a kill and combined with Rutledge for a block. After a kill by Kretzschmar for the Saints, Mann and Rutledge recorded another block for the Trojans. Limestone saved one set point, but Rutledge's kill gave Mount Olive a two-set advantage.
Just like the second set, Mount Olive had to come from behind in the third set as a pair of solo blocks by Joel Muhlbach helped Limestone jump out to a 7-3 lead. The Trojans rallied to take a 13-11 lead after Schirman's ace followed consecutive kills by Schirman, Mann and Rutledge. Neither team held more than a three-point advantage until Schirman's kill broke a 19-19 tie and triggered a 3-0 run to put the Trojans ahead to stay. Hollevoet's kill on match point sealed the win.
Tyler Yanez finished with 45 assists, nine digs and three blocks for Mount Olive. Josh Donahue recorded a match-high 18 digs. Mann also had three blocks for the Trojans. Hollevoet had nine kills, coming within one kill of his second straight double-figure match. Mount Olive, which entered Friday's contest leading the nation with more than two service aces per set, was limited to a single ace.
Kretzschmar posted a double-double for Limestone with 12 kills and 10 digs. Nick Wildes recorded 33 assists for the Saints. Muhlbach added three blocks to share match-high honors with Mann and Yanez.
Mount Olive concludes its weekend trip to Upstate South Carolina Saturday as the Trojans travel to Due West to take on Erskine in a rematch of the championship match of last year's Conference Carolinas Tournament. Mount Olive fell to Erskine in the conference tournament after the two teams split their regular season series, each winning on the other's home floor. Match time is 2 p.m.