Montgomery Register and Sarah Robertson recorded 13 kills apiece, but University of Mount Olive's rally from a two-set deficit came up short as the Trojans fell to Lees-McRae College 25-18, 25-22, 18-25, 26-24 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. Britni Johnson gave the Trojans a third player in double figures with 11 kills.
Prior to the match, Robertson and Dezirae Mackey were recognized during Senior Day ceremonies. Robertson was playing her first match since suffering an injury three weeks ago.
"I was determined to play on Senior Night no matter how much it hurt," said Robertson, a senior from Ayr, Scotland.
Mount Olive (7-21, 3-10) dropped the first two sets, but controlled the third set. Robertson's kill and Alysha Burnett's ace on the first two points helped Mount Olive jump out to a 5-1 lead and the Trojans led the entire set. A kill by Mackey and an ace by Aubrey McKinney gave the Trojans a 13-8 advantage and the margin never fell below four points the remainder of the set.
Lees-McRae (16-8, 9-4) built a 14-8 lead in the second set before Mount Olive rallied behind three straight points by Burnett - a kill on an overpass and back-to-back aces, the first ace coming on a serve that hit the top of the tape and rolled down the Bobcat side of the net.
The Bobcats took advantage of Trojan errors to score three straight points and match its biggest lead at 17-11. After a Mackey kill for a side out, Casey Fiechter's service run pulled Mount Olive to within 17-16. Lees-McRae used a block by Siarra Walker and Jordan Banta to end the Trojans' run and the Bobcats extended their lead to 20-16.
Robertson's kill gave Mount Olive a side out and Samantha Winfield followed with a five-point service run. Back-to-back kills by Register in the middle tied the set and after a Lees-McRae error, Johnson's kill gave the Trojans a 22-20 lead.
Lees-McRae took advantage of Trojan errors to rally as Avalon Liscio's kill broke a 23-23 tie and gave the Bobcats their first match point. Another kill by Register kept Mount Olive in the match, but a Trojan service error gave Lees-McRae another match point. The Bobcats sealed the win with a block on the right side by Liscio and Walker.
Burnett finished with a match-high four aces, while McKinney added three aces and 33 assists and Winfield tallied two aces and 15 assists. Mackey and Johnson recorded three blocks apiece and Fiechter had a match-high 17 digs.
Liscio led all players with 14 kills for Lees-McRae. Walker recorded a match-high six blocks for the Bobcats.
Mount Olive plays its home finale Saturday as the Trojans play host to King in Conference Carolinas action. Match time is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena. Fans can gain free admission by bringing three canned goods as the Trojan women's volleyball team conducts a canned food drive.