Trojan Comeback Falls Short In Four-Set Loss To King

Trojan Comeback Falls Short In Four-Set Loss To King

University of Mount Olive's rally from a two-set deficit came up short as the Trojans fell to King 27-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21 in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Bret Rutledge had a match-high 17 kills for his fourth consecutive double-digit performance.

After spotting King the first two sets, Mount Olive (10-9 overall, 8-6 Conference Carolinas) jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set and led for the remainder of the set after surviving a King comeback. Ryan Thomas' kill gave the Trojans their biggest lead at 20-11 before King rallied with six unanswered points. A block by Thomas and Mike Mann ended the run and three kills by Rutledge helped keep the Trojans in the lead. Victor Fraga Leal's kill on set point kept Mount Olive in the match.

The Trojans opened the third set with a 9-3 advantage as Mann recorded a pair of blocks early in the set. Mount Olive still led 19-14, but King used three blocks by Mason Casner during a six-point run to take its first lead of the set. The two teams exchanged side outs until a block by Nick Serowski and Matthew Lychock gave the Tornado a 23-21 lead. Lychock and Nick Drooker combined on a block on set point as King outscored Mount Olive 11-2 to end the match.

In the opening set, Mount Olive fell behind 16-11 but aces by Andrew Sydow and Thomas, along with a pair of kills by Kian Hollevoet, rallied the Trojans to a 24-24 tie. The Trojans saved another set, but King clinched the set on a UMO attack error on set point.

King (12-8, 8-4) broke away from a two-point lead in the second set and took its biggest lead at 22-13 after a block by Lychock and Drooker. Mount Olive saved four set points, but Lychock's kill gave the Tornado a two-set lead.

Thomas came off the bench for Mount Olive to contribute a career-high 13 kills, while setter Tyler Yanez recorded 54 assists and 11 digs. Josh Donahue played the first two sets at libero and finished with 14 digs. Mann led the Trojans with four blocks.

Casner finished with a match-high nine blocks for King, while Drooker and Lychock added seven blocks apiece. Serowski led a balanced attack with 11 kills.

Mount Olive is idle until next Saturday when the Trojans play host to Belmont Abbey in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Match time is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.