Bret Rutledge recorded a career-high 27 kills, but University of Mount Olive's rally came up short as the Trojans fell to Alderson-Broaddus University 28-26, 17-25, 25-20, 24-26, 15-13 in non-conference men's volleyball Friday at Philippi, W. Va. Rutledge came within one kill of tying the Trojan record for most kills in a match.
Mount Olive (8-8) was down a set and trailed 18-14 in the fourth set when back-to-back kills by Rutledge triggered a comeback. Victor Fraga Leal notched three kills and another kill by Rutledge capped a 7-1 run to give the Trojans a 21-19 lead. Alderson Broaddus (12-3) rallied to tie the set 24-24, but Andrew Sydow's kill broke the tie and a Battler attack error kept Mount Olive alive and forced a fifth set.
The Trojans sandwiched kills by Rutledge and Mike Mann around an ace by Leal to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the fifth set. Alderson-Broaddus came back to take its first lead of the set at 8-7 and the Battlers went on to lead 14-12. Rutledge's kill saved one match point, but Alderson-Broaddus came back with a kill to seal the win.
Mount Olive saw a 13-7 lead disappear in the opening set as Alderson-Broaddus went on to take a one-set lead. In the second set, Sydow recorded a block and a pair of kills during an 8-1 run as Mount Olive broke away from a 9-9 tie and evened the match at a set apiece. Alderson-Broaddus built a seven-point lead in the third set and Mount Olive never recovered.
Rutledge narrowly missed tying the school single-match record of 28 kills by Adam Miracle in 2012. Ryan Thomas added a career-high 10 kills, while Sydow finished with nine kills and five blocks. Tyler Yanez recorded 58 assists.
Besongngem Obenda led Alderson-Broaddus with 25 kills.
Mount Olive concludes its West Virginia trip Saturday as the Trojans travel to Charleston in non-conference action. Match time is 2 p.m.