Trojans Outlast Limestone In Four Sets In Conference Opener

Trojans Outlast Limestone In Four Sets In Conference Opener

Andrew Sydow accounted for seven points with four blocks and three kills during a game-breaking 9-1 run late in the final set as University of Mount Olive outlasted Limestone College 25-18, 28-26, 16-25, 25-20 in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. The match was the Trojans' conference opener.

Mount Olive (2-0 overall, 1-0 Conference Carolinas) took a two-set lead after saving four set points in the second set, but Limestone took the third set to extend the match. The Trojans trailed 14-13 before setter Jeff Yasolonis' second-ball kill tied the set and triggered the scoring run. Sydow then combined with Kian Holleovoet and Bret Rutledge for a block to break the tie. After Limestone tied the set again with a side out, Sydow's kill put Mount Olive ahead to stay.

Sydow was part of double blocks on the next two points, first with Rutledge and then with Yasolonis. Holleovoet followed with a service ace and after a Limestone timeout, Sydow again teamed with Rutledge on a block on the right side. Sydow capped the run with back-to-back kills to extend the Trojans' lead to 22-15.

Limestone got as close as four points, but Ivan Trifunovic put home a kill in the middle of the Saints' floor to close out the match. The freshman from Serbia finished with a team-high 16 kills in his second collegiate match.

In the opening set, Mount Olive used an 8-0 run to pull away midway through. Trifunovic's back row kill and Mike Mann's kill highlighted the run as the Trojans built a 22-15 lead. Peyton Schirman closed out the set with a kill down the Limestone left sideline.

Limestone (0-2, 0-2) built a 15-12 lead in the second set after a kill by Bruno Kretzschmar, one of his eight kills in the set. Sydow came off the bench for Mount Olive and his kill helped spark a 6-1 run to put the Trojans on top 18-16. Limestone tied the set after a kill and a block by Cameron Jorgensen and the Saints went on to take a 24-22 lead.

The Trojans saved a pair of set points on a kill by Rutledge and a block by Sydow and Trifunovic. Kretzschmar recorded two more kills for Limestone, but the Trojans were able to side out both times, first on a kill by Rutledge and then on a Saints service error. Rutledge, who also came off the bench in the second set, put Mount Olive on top 27-26 with a kill and Trifunovic's kill gave the Trojans a two-set advantage.

Limestone never trailed in the third set as Kevin Rocklein's ace gave the Saints a 10-5 lead. Mount Olive never got any closer than four points the rest of the way and Dylan Lavner served an ace on set point to keep the Saints in the match.

Trifunovic recorded only two errors in 24 attempts for a .583 hitting percentage, while Mann finished with nine kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Sydow tallied eight kills and a .583 hitting percentage to go with a match-high six blocks. Rutledge and Yasalonis added four blocks apiece. Yasalonis also had 49 assists. The Trojans finished with 11.0 team blocks and compiled a team hitting percentage of .362.

Kretzschmar surpassed the 20-kill mark for the second straight contest with a match-high 22 kills for Limestone. Rocklein added 17 kills for the Saints.

The Trojans were originally scheduled to play host to Erskine College Saturday in a Conference Carolinas match-up, but the contest was postponed due to a change in Erskine's schedule. A new date for the match has not been determined.

Mount Olive is idle for two weeks until the Trojans take to the road for a pair of conference matches. The Trojans travel to Tigerville, S.C., January 29 to take on North Greenville University, then continue south to Franklin Springs, Ga., the following day for a match-up against Emmanuel College.