University of Mount Olive fell to Arkansas Tech 25-20, 25-18, 25-11 in the Trojans' opening match of the Scott Jones Women's Volleyball Classic Friday at Nashville, Tenn. The tournament is hosted by Trevecca Nazarene University.
In the first set, Mount Olive (2-4) pulled within 18-17 after a kill by Britni Johnson. Arkansas Tech scored the next five points to kick off a 6-1 run and reach set point. After the Trojans got a side out to save one set point, Montgomery Register and Sarah Robertson combined on a block to pull Mount Olive within 24-20. But Arkansas Tech followed a timeout with a side out to claim the opening set.
The Trojans nearly pulled off a miracle rally in the second set after falling behind 22-9. Robertson recorded a pair of kills and Clara Ervin's service run saved six consecutive set points. Dezirae Mackey and Mackenzie Call notched kills on Mount Olive's last two points of the scoring run before Arkansas Tech used a block by Mariah King and Haley Owen to hold on and take a two-set lead.
Mount Olive got as close as 11-8 in the third set after a pair of kills by Danielle Plante. Arkansas Tech went on to outscore the Trojans 14-3 to finish the match.
Robertson led the Trojans with six kills, while Johnson and Mackey added five kills apiece. Samantha Winfield recorded 19 assists. Mackey and Robertson each had a pair of blocks.
The Trojans opened Saturday's play with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 loss to Oakland City (Ind.). Mount Olive rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second set before Oakland City pulled away.
In the opening set, Mount Olive came back from an early three-point deficit as kills by Plante and Robertson pulled the Trojans within 14-13. Oakland City then used three aces by Taylor Hayne to spark a 7-1 run and give the Oaks a one-set lead.
The Trojans had to play catch-up in the second set after falling behind 12-3. Mount Olive stormed back as Johnson and Register combined on three blocks, and Mackey's solo block tied the set 18-18. But Oakland City scored the next four points to retake the lead for good.
Oakland City jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the third set and Mount Olive never recovered.
Robertson led the Trojans with nine kills, while Register had four blocks and Winfield recorded 26 assists. Plante finished with a match-high nine digs.
Mount Olive concluded tournament play with a 25-10,25-18,25-12 loss to Trevecca Nazarene. Robertson led the Trojans with five kills.
The tournament is named for Scott Jones, the winningest coach in Trevecca Nazarene history. Jones died unexpectedly in 2008.
Mount Olive returns to action Tuesday as the Trojans play host to UNC Pembroke to begin a three-match homestand. Match time is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.